A US pilot appeared to suffer a mental breakdown during a JetBlue flight from New York to Las Vegas earlier in the week.
Captain Clayton Osbon reportedly ran through the isles of the plane ranting about a bomb threat, Iraq, Afghanistan and al-Qaida before being taken to the back of the plane to be calmed down by cabin crew. When he attempted to re-enter the locked cockpit, he was pinned down by four passengers until the plane was safely landed in Texas.
An off-duty pilot who happened to be a passenger on board helped the co-pilot to land the plane safely.
One news report said Mr Osbon shouted: “They’re going to take us down. They’re taking us down. They’re going to take us down. Say the Lord’s prayer.”
The airline issued a statement to say that there had been a “medical situation” involving the captain, who has since been taken to hospital.
Chief executive of JetBlue, David Barger, told NBC News that there was nothing in Mr Osbon’s records that suggested he could be a risk. He told reporters: “I’ve known the captain personally for a long period of time and there’s been no indication of this at all.”
The pilot has now been charged with interfering with cabin crew, while the FBI coordinates an investigation with the airport police, Amarillo police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Safety Administration.