- Last Updated: 9:49 AM, March 28, 2012
- Posted: 2:38 AM, March 28, 2012
A veteran JetBlue pilot terrorized a flight from JFK to Las Vegas yesterday and had to be subdued by passengers who tied him up with their own belts as he ranted about al Qaeda and bombs.
“Say your prayers . . . We’re all going down!” wild-eyed Capt. Clayton Osbon screamed to frightened travelers, who couldn’t believe the man who had been flying their Airbus A320 had suddenly turned into a raving lunatic.
“It was so scary. People . . . were freaking out a little bit,” passenger Tiffany Lee told The Post.
“The girl next to me was saying, ‘Oh, my God, what if I never talk to my fiancé again?’ ”
The nightmare at 34,000 feet was so bad that the co-pilot actually locked Osbon — one of JetBlue’s respected “flight-standards captains” — out of the cockpit.
The 49-year-old aviator later shouted incoherently about the Middle East.
“He started screaming about al Qaeda and . . . a bomb on the plane and Iraq and Iran and about how we were all going down,” Gabriel Schonzeit told the Amarillo Globe-News after the jet made an emergency landing in that Texas city.
Former Fox-TV news anchor Laurie Dhue, a passenger, said people were shocked when he then attacked the cockpit.
“The captain came barreling down the aisle screaming incoherently and threw himself at the cockpit door,” she said. “‘You gotta let me in!’ he screamed, ‘Look in the camera, you can see that it’s me!’ ”
Some burly male passengers — including retired law-enforcement officers headed to a Las Vegas security-industry convention — wrestled Osbon to the floor and bound him with their belts.
After he was subdued, the first officer and an off-duty captain who happened to be aboard steered the jet south to Amarillo. It later made its way to Las Vegas.
No one was hurt except for the captain, who was strapped into a chair and taken away in an ambulance.