MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WCCO) — A JetBlue pilot went on a mid-air rant and had to be subdued by flight attendants and passengers while his co-pilot made an emergency landing.
Friends of the pilot who was removed told WTMJ in Milwaukee that he is from Mequon, Wis.
Fritz Willmanns called Clayton Osbon a joker with a good sense of humor, and a kid who loves flying.
Osbon began to act irrationally inside the cockpit on a flight from New York’s JFK Airport to Las Vegas. A source told CBS he had been unnecessarily fiddling with flight controls and complaining there was too much chatter on the aviation radio. Then a first officer convinced him to get out by telling him to splash cold water on his face, locking the cockpit door behind him. Passenger Mark Sellouk describes what happened next.
“He’s banging on the door, yelling at the first officer, I think his name is Steve, ‘Bring the throttle to idle! Bring it to idle! Bring it to idle! We’re going down, we’re all going to die! Pray to Jesus. Open this goddamn door!”‘
Four men tackled Osbon to get him under control. Tony Antolino was one of them.
“He started ranting about Iraq, Iran — they’re going to take us down. Said the Lord’s prayer,” said Antolino. “And then at that point we literally just tackled him to the ground and restrained him.”
Osbon is expected to be charged as early as today with interference with a flight crew and other counts. He is undergoing several days of psychiatric evaluation at an Amarillo hospital.