LAS VEGAS - Passengers on board a JetBlue flight bound for Las Vegas on Tuesday were forced to restrain the pilot, after he was locked out of the cockpit and began acting erratically.
Passenger Josh Redick said the captain seemed "irate" and was "spouting off about Afghanistan and souls and al-Qaida."
Other passengers reported the pilot raced up the cabin's aisle, making statements about a bomb, screaming "They're going to take us down!" and telling passengers to pray.
"Once someone starts saying 'Say your prayers' and he's a captain or a pilot, I think it's time to take action. A group of us just jumped up (instinctively), grabbed him and pulled him to the ground and held him down," said passenger Anthony Antolino.
Channel 11 News has learned that the pilot, Clayton Osbon, attended Carnegie Mellon University in the 1980's, but did not earn his degree.
After an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas, Osbon was removed from the aircraft and taken away on a stretcher. The incident is being called a "medical situation" by the airline.
Osbon was hospitalized and is now in FBI custody.
“You never think that could happen these days, post 9-11, where everything is just so safe. And here it happened with the captain of the plane," said passenger Jason Levin.
According to Osbon’s LinkedIn page, he has been an employee at JetBlue for 12 years.
Elton Stafford, who lives near Osbon in George, said the situation surprised her.
“I am as shocked as anybody would be by this news,” Stafford said. “Clayton is a straight-hitting guy who is very level-headed and professional.”
The president of JetBlue said the company will be reviewing its procedures.