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JetBlue pilot charged for meltdown goes to court

By the CNN Wire Staff
April 2, 2012 -- Updated 2224 GMT (0624 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: A judge orders JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon held until a bond hearing Thursday
  • Osbon spent the past six days in custody in a hospital
  • The captain faces a charge of interfering with a flight crew
  • Passengers and crew members subdued Osbon as he screamed and banged on the cockpit door

(CNN) -- The JetBlue pilot arrested after an apparent midair meltdown last week was ordered held without bond during a brief appearance before a federal judge in Amarillo, Texas, on Monday morning, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

The U.S. magistrate ordered that Clayton Osbon, 49, be held in the Randall County jail until a detention hearing to determine his bond on Thursday, the prosecutor's spokesman said.

Osbon, the captain of JetBlue Flight 191, has been in custody at a hospital where he has been treated since last Tuesday, when he was arrested and later charged with interfering with a flight crew.

His remarks and erratic behavior on the planned five-hour flight from New York's Kennedy International Airport to Las Vegas led the co-pilot to lock Osbon out of the cockpit, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Crew and passengers subdued Osbon as he screamed and banged on the cockpit door so hard that the first officer thought Osbon would come through, the document said.

'Prozac Pilot': Pilots are people too

The complaint says Osbon began making remarks during the flight that concerned the first officer, who was his co-pilot.

"Osbon yelled over the radio to air traffic control and instructed them to be quiet. Osbon turned off the radios in the aircraft, dimmed his monitors and sternly admonished the FO (first officer) for trying to talk on the radio," the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Texas said in a written statement.

"When Osbon said 'we need to take a leap of faith,' the FO stated that he became very worried. Osbon told the FO that 'we're not going to Vegas,' and began giving what the FO described as a sermon."

The flight data and cockpit voice recorders from the jet, which made an emergency landing in Amarillo last week, will be analyzed, officials have said.

CNN's Todd Sperry contributed to this report.

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