Published March 31, 2012
NEW YORK- JetBlue says the crew of Las Vegas-bound flight 191 -- which had to make an emergency landing in Texas because of the strange and frightening behavior of its pilot -- will remain quiet about the incident.
"We understand and appreciate everyone's desire to hear directly from the crew regarding their experience, but the crew has decided to decline all media opportunities in order to spend time with their families," JetBlue Airways Corp. said in a statement Friday.
The flight Tuesday that started in New York proceeded normally for most of the trip. But pilot Clayton Osbon became increasingly incoherent, left the cockpit and later sprinted down the cabin yelling jumbled remarks about Sept. 11 and Iran, documents and witnesses say. Co-pilot Jason Dowd brought an off-duty JetBlue captain who was flying as a passenger into the cockpit to assist and locked the door.
When Osbon tried to re-enter by banging on the door, the co-pilot gave an order through the intercom to restrain Osbon, according to the documents, which don't mention Dowd by name. Passengers wrestled Osbon to the ground, and Dowd diverted the flight from New York to Amarillo, Texas. No one onboard was seriously injured.
Dowd's quick thinking and calm management of the emergency landing brought comparisons to `Miracle on the Hudson' Capt. Chesley Sullenberger. The pilot's bizarre behavior also drew references to another crewmember's behavior that JetBlue likely would like to forget.
In 2010, JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater pulled the emergency chute on a flight after it landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport. He went on the public-address system, swore at a passenger, grabbed a beer and slid down onto the tarmac. He was sentenced to probation, counseling and substance abuse treatment for attempted criminal mischief.
JetBlue is encouraging the public to send messages to the crew of Flight 191 through its blog at http://blog.jetblue.com.