JetBlue captain’s erratic behavior forces emergency landing, reports say
Published March 27, 2012
AMARILLO, Texas – A JetBlue plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas, Tuesday after the captain had a ‘medical situation’ while on the plane.
JetBlue 191, which was headed from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Las Vegas, was forced to make the landing after the pilot reportedly ran up and down the aisles screaming “Say your prayers” after he was locked outside the cockpit, The New York Post reported, citing a passenger.
“Someone next to me said he was saying something about bombs,” recounted the passenger,
Tiffany Lee, 26, to the paper. Another passenger told Fox 5 News that a man wearing a pilot’s uniform ran down the aisle screaming and banging on the cockpit door to let him in.
One of the flight attendants reportedly got on the intercom and asked passengers to restrain the man. Several followed the instructions and pinned the man until the plane landed, the report said.
One of the four passengers who helped subdue the man was a retired NYPD sergeant, The Post reported.
David Gonzalez, a former corrections officer who was headed to a security conference in Las Vegas, told Fox News that the pilot tried to break into the cockpit and struggled with the flight attendants and appeared to want to open the plane’s side door.
“I said, ‘Hey, what’s the problem,’” Gonzalez said. “And the stewardess said, “Can you help me?’”
Gonzalez said the pilot began yelling about Iraq and Iran. After a two minute struggle, Gonzalez said he was able to subdue the pilot. Other passengers then stepped in and tied the pilot, he said.
One of the co-pilots reportedly convinced the captain to leave the cockpit and locked him out, CBSDFW.com reported. Another JetBlue pilot, who was off-duty but on the plane, took over the other’s duties.
“He picked the wrong plane. Huge guys just tackled him. The response was Olympics kind of stuff,” one passenger said, according to CBSDFW.com.
There are reports that the pilot may have been a war veteran.
A spokeswoman from JetBlue told FoxNews.com that the passengers will be reimbursed for the flight and receive a credit for twice the value of their ticket. The airline would not release the pilot’s name or medical history.