Pilot, passenger mid-air freakouts put JetBlue and US Airways on alert
A disgruntled passenger aboard a US Airways flight from North Carolina to Florida was reportedly arrested Tuesday night after witnesses say she attacked crew members before being wrestled to the floor.
The latest incident comes on the heels of a JetBlue captain who had to be subdued by passengers after he apparently acted erratically during an early-morning flight Tuesday from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Las Vegas.
The woman aboard the US Airways flight from Charlotte to Fort Myers reportedly kicked, scratched and spit on crew members. The passenger was later arrested.
A spokeswoman would not provide more details until the arrest report is released.
Meanwhile, more information is beginning to emerge about the circumstances aboard JetBlue Flight 191, which was forced to make an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas, during its flight to Las Vegas.
The JetBlue captain's co-workers tried to calm him as he became more jittery, coaxing him to the back of the plane while making sure that he didn't return to the plane's controls.
Sources identified the captain to Fox News as Clayton Osbon, a JetBlue flight standards captain from Richmond Hill, Ga. He was taken into custody when the flight landed, but it wasn't immediately clear whether he faces any charges.
Osbon had ranted about Al Qaeda and a possible bomb onboard before being subdued, passengers said. Laurie Dhue, a former Fox News anchor who was on board the flight, said she also heard the captain mention "Afghanistan" and "Israel" during his rant.
Then, he sprinted up the cabin's aisle -- ranting about a bomb, screaming "They're going to take us down!" and urging confused passengers to pray.
"Nobody knew what to do because he is the captain of the plane," said Don Davis, the owner of a Ronkonkoma, New York-based wireless broadband manufacturer who was traveling to Sin City for a security industry conference.
Gabriel Schonzeit, who was sitting in the third row, said the captain said there could be a bomb on board the flight.
"He started screaming about Al Qaeda and possibly a bomb on the plane and Iraq and Iran and about how we were all going down," Schonzeit told the Amarillo Globe-News.
"A group of us just jumped up instinctually and grabbed him and put him to the ground," Antolino said.
Dave Barger, JetBlue’s CEO and president, says the captain who ranted about a bomb on a flight to Las Vegas is a "consummate professional" whom he has personally known for years. He said there is nothing in the captain's record to indicate he could be a risk.
Josh Redick, who was sitting near the middle of the plane, said the captain seemed "irate" and was "spouting off about Afghanistan and souls and Al Qaeda."