Unfriendly Skies of the Day: A JetBlue plane en route to Las Vegas was diverted to Amarillo, Texas, this morning due to a "medical situation" involving the pilot.
In its official statement, JetBlue would not comment on the nature of the "medical situation," but passengers on board reported seeing the pilot run up and down the aisle after being kicked out of the cockpit.
According to one witness, the pilot emerged from the restroom mentioning a bomb and shouting "Iraq, al-Qaida, terrorism, we’re all going down." He then reportedly approached the cockpit and began repeatedly banging on the door asking for the code which had apparently been changed to prevent his reentry.
He was allegedly subdued by multiple passengers prior to landing.
"It seemed like he went crazy," passenger Gabriel Schonzeit is quoted as saying. "We all knew in the front rows if he got back in the cockpit, we were going down."
Upon arrival at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, the pilot was removed from the plane and taken to Northwest Texas Hospital. An off-duty captain assumed the pilot's responsibilities "once on the ground."
JetBlue said in its statement that it was cooperating with local law enforcement and the FBI, but a TSA spokesman said "it seems to be more of a medical issue than a security issue at this point."
[newschannel10 / amarillo / chron.]