JetBlue Flight 191

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JetBlue Airways Flight 191
JetBlue A320 at Orlando.jpeg
An Airbus A320-200, the type of aircraft involved in the incident.
Incident summary
Date March 27, 2012
Summary Diversion due to in-flight crew incident
Site Near Amarillo, Texas
35°11′57″N 101°50′43″W / 35.19917°N 101.84528°W / 35.19917; -101.84528Coordinates: 35°11′57″N 101°50′43″W / 35.19917°N 101.84528°W / 35.19917; -101.84528
Passengers 135[1]
Survivors 135 (all)
Aircraft type Airbus A320-232
Aircraft name 100% Blue
Operator JetBlue Airways
Registration N796JB
Flight origin John F. Kennedy International Airport
Destination McCarran International Airport

JetBlue Flight 191 was a scheduled domestic commercial passenger flight on airline JetBlue Airways from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City to McCarran International Airport, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Pilot incident in 2012[edit]

On March 27, 2012, Captain Clayton Osbon was locked out of the cockpit by First Officer Jason Dowd and was subdued by passengers after he started acting erratically and apparently suffered from an unspecified mental breakdown. The aircraft was then diverted to Amarillo, Texas. Osbon received medical treatment by Northwest Texas Healthcare System.[2]

Dowd grew concerned when Osbon made comments such as "We need to take a leap of faith", "We're not going to Vegas", and "I can't be held responsible when this plane crashes." Osbon began giving what the first officer described as a sermon. Dowd tricked Osbon into going to the passenger compartment, then locked the cockpit door and changed the security code. Osbon railed at passengers about Jesus, Al-Qaeda, countries in the Middle East, and a possible bomb on board. Alarmed passengers tackled him and tied him up with seat belt extenders. An off duty JetBlue pilot who was travelling as a passenger joined Dowd in the cockpit and the plane landed about 20 minutes later.[3] Osbon was arrested and charged with "interference with a flight crew."[4][5][6]

The 49-year-old[7] Osbon was suspended from work after being with JetBlue for 12 years.[2] He had attended Carnegie Mellon University and graduated in 1987 from Nathaniel Hawthorne College,[7] an aeronautics and aviation college located in New Hampshire founded in 1962, but which closed in 1988.[8][9][10]

On Tuesday, July 3, 2012, he was found not guilty by reason of insanity of the charge of interference with the flight crew by an Amarillo, Texas-based federal judge, Judge Mary Lou Robinson. Mr. Osbon was then ordered to be held pending a further investigation; he was then immediately transferred to a mental health facility in Fort Worth for additional treatment.[11]

After Captain Osbon was evaluated in a federal mental health facility in North Carolina, on November 9, 2012, US District Judge Robinson freed him under the provisions that he continue mental health treatment, follow a prescribed medication regimen, and meet a variety of other conditions. Osbon must continue to be monitored by his probation officer for an undetermined amount of time. "This is a bad situation for you and your family, but you are very fortunate to have the type of immediate support you have," Robinson said. "Good Luck, Mr. Osbon."[12]

On March 27, 2015, passengers filed a suit against JetBlue for $14.9 million, claiming that the airline did not ensure Osbon was fit to fly, and endangered the lives of the crew and the passengers.[13] Osbon's suit against his employer was filed several days after Germanwings Flight 9525 crash, in which the co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane killing all the people aboard. The suit was settled the following month; terms of the settlement were not disclosed to the public.[14]

Cause of Incident[edit]

The cause of Osbon's mental breakdown remains unknown. There were several possibilities including: 1) the onset of a psychotic disorder 2) a neurological event that compromised his brain function 3) intoxication due to medication.[15] In March 2015, Osbon filed a lawsuit against JetBlue in which he claimed the incident was caused by a complex partial brain seizure.[16]


  1. ^ "JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon charged over flight chaos". BBC. March 28, 2012. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b MacLaggan, Corrie (April 2, 2012). "JetBlue pilot's wife says husband 'not intentionally violent'". Reuters. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  3. ^ "JetBlue pilot's unraveling baffles friends". March 29, 2012. Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. 
  4. ^ FBI — JetBlue Pilot Charged with Interference with a Flight Crew
  5. ^ Osbon Complaint Affidavit
  6. ^ Nicas, Jack; Pasztor, Andy (March 28, 2012). "JetBlue Captain's 'Medical Situation' Diverts Flight". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 29, 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Pilot soon gave signs of trouble". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. March 29, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Home". Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Nathaniel Hawthorne College at Closed Colleges
  11. ^ "Unruly JetBlue pilot found not guilty by reason of insanity". CNN. July 4, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Judge frees Richmond Hill JetBlue pilot who disrupted flight". November 9, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2012. 
  13. ^ "JetBlue Pilot Who Caused Flight Diversion Sues Airline". Bloomberg. March 27, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "JetBlue settles pilot meltdown lawsuit". Amarillo Globe News. June 13, 2013. Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  15. ^ CBS News (2012-03-29), CBS This Morning - What happened to JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon?, retrieved 2016-06-09 
  16. ^ "Judge orders release of documents in JetBlue case". Amarillo Globe-News. Retrieved 2016-06-09.