A JetBlue flight bound for Las Vegas made an emergency landing in Texas on Tuesday after the pilot went on a mid-air rant yelling about a bomb, reports quoting passengers said.
Passengers' description of the bizarre incident, which reminded of a mental breakdown that an Air Canada co-pilot suffered during a Toronto-London flight in 2008, varied.
Flight-191 was on its way from New York's JFK Airport with 135 passengers on board, when the pilot walked from the cockpit to the back of the plane ranting about a bomb and threats from Iran and al-Qaeda.
"We've got Israel, we've got Iraq," he could be heard screaming in video footage taken on a passenger's cell phone.
At one stage, the emotionally upset pilot reached for the plane door.
Some of the passengers, who are said to be working in security service, remained unperturbed despite the pilot's shouting and insistence to get back into the cockpit that created confused scenes on board, and overpowered the well-built man ending a half-hour-long mayhem.
Capt. Clayton Osborn, a veteran pilot, was reportedly tied up on the floor outside the cockpit.
A statement by the Federal Aviation Administration said the co-pilot locked Osborn out of the cockpit after he began to show "erratic behavior."
The plane, which was supposed to be a non-stop flight, made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas, by 10:10 a.m. local time.
JetBlue said Osborn was taken to a local medical facility in an ambulance that was waiting at the tarmac, and that a new aircraft later arrived to take passengers on to their destination.
Police and the FBI are investigating the incident, and are looking at the pilot's history and his medical records to determine what may have caused his meltdown.
The airline termed the incident as a "medical situation" involving the pilot.
by RTT Staff Writer
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