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Captain 'subdued' aboard JetBlue flight

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Captain 'subdued' aboard JetBlue flight

Old 28th Mar 2012, 18:16
  #81 (permalink)  
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It's vital for him there's an outside causal influence. It's doubtful, given his beliefs and background that it will be recreational drugs. But what about so-called prescribed drugs? I'm sure the search is already on, but for no other reason than thinking outside the box, I'd have a look at:
and has a sideline selling weight-loss products, including a “shake mix that tastes like a cake mix.”
It seems too sudden to be 'mental illness' per se, and it would almost be a blessing if he goes down with something like viral meningitis . . . anything that's explainable and from which he can make a full recovery. His life as he knows it will be over if nothing is found.
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Old 28th Mar 2012, 18:27
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As someone having first-hand experience with mental illness I can assure you that an "eruption" such as this is not at all uncommon.
The eruption can be exacerbated by various environmental factors leading to "totally losing it." Without any obvious symptoms leading up to an incident.
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Old 28th Mar 2012, 19:01
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agree with rgbrock1 - a close friend has had weird 'seizures' for about 5 years, after 2-3 months, basically out of the blue. Well, probably emotional stress - very good things or very bad things, but nothing excessive (to someone who's not in his skin). The first time I was sure he's gone mad. The doctors were sure it was a stroke. (By now they THINK they know what it could be, one of the rare things, not mental and he's ok between the attacks.) For me this bomb-talk totally makes sense - surely that's an issue for pilots. The person I know goes outside and starts looking for his business car he had 30 years ago, for example, and claims he has to do something he did then.
Things are complicated sometimes. Not always, of course, but still.
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Old 28th Mar 2012, 20:33
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[not a pilot] Going by a CBS News report, an alleged eyewitness report, and others, a rough chronology seems to be:

1) Co-pilot invites pilot out of the cockpit.
2) Off-duty pilot sitting around row 13 is escorted to the cockpit by a cabin attendant
3) Pilot is restrained by passengers, apparently encouraged by a cabin crew public address announcement, as has been recounted on this forum.

Other reports claim that the captain tried to enter a lavatory. Perhaps someone knows the locations of lavatories on this particular airplane.
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Old 28th Mar 2012, 20:36
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If nothing else, this is a reassuring event. CRM procedure for a First Officer who is unhappy with the behaviour of the Captain may have reinforced the resolve of the pilot in the right hand seat, and led to the safe outcome. Unlike some other outcomes on this forum, where the Captain is some sort of deity, and outranks everyone even when he's losing situational awareness....we have come a long way from KLM at Teneriffe.
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Old 28th Mar 2012, 21:09
  #86 (permalink)  
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According to the news down here he is now in the hands of the FBI. Is that significant or routine? Doesn't sound like what I would have expected, I would have thought a full psychiatric evaluation was in order.
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Old 28th Mar 2012, 21:33
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I'm sure with a few seconds on Google the "knuckleheads" could find the information easier than trawling through PPrune ! Hell, the "knuckleheads" probably have friends (either genuine or "recruited" with a bit of cash) who are engineers, line pilots or door manufacturer employees to give them the information !

As I said ... "security by obscurity is not security". If you built yourself a house in the middle of the Australian outback, with no locks on the doors..... told nobody you did it, told nobody what was inside it but placed a few million dollars worth of gold bars in it ..... would you sleep at night if you lived a few thousand miles away ? It's safe right because you've secured yourself by obscurity ? No, of course not. You would layer the security wouldn't you (CCTV, a safe, an alarm system, a guard etc. etc. ) ! Same goes for the aviation industry and its security.

Last edited by mixture; 28th Mar 2012 at 21:47.
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Old 28th Mar 2012, 21:42
  #88 (permalink)  
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BBC News - JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon charged over flight chaos

The US flight captain who suffered an apparent mental breakdown during a domestic flight has been charged with interfering with cabin crew.
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Old 28th Mar 2012, 23:46
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A guess, as a layman, would be BiPolar Disorder. High achievement interspersed with bizarre epsodes of incoherent behaviour, usually well controlled with medication. Unfortunately BP folk are not good with compliance/medication.
I am also guessing, but I believe FAA would not issue a Class I to someone with BPD I. If he was trying to maintain w/o meds, a breakdown was probably overdue. It is the damnedest thing, I had a dear friend with BPD. A super achiever, athlete, popular and quasi famous, especially within his profession.

Captain Osbon is Ill, not "bad". Let's be grownups, shall we?
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 00:32
  #90 (permalink)  
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here comes the judge http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/im....pdf?hpt=hp_t1
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 00:49
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Just SLF, but I understand what he was (probably) going through in a small way.

If you're suffering from some sort of mental "issue" you're often not aware of it and you think your actions are correct and justified.

I'm sure that after being locked out of the flight deck he was absolute in his belief that something bad was happening, and he was not the reason. In fact I think I'd kinda hope that someone locked out of the flight deck when something bad *was* happening would try really hard to get back in, so his attempt is certainly noble (if -- in this case -- misguided).

I have a reaction to a certain common drug and it makes me very agitated. The first time I had it, I was caught unaware and did some things out of character. Now I know and I make sure I don't take the drug, or if I do (it's unfortunately sometimes required) that I prepare those around me (and myself to some extent). Even knowing that I am not acting "normal", and why, it's hard to moderate your behaviour. Not knowing makes it almost impossible.

I have no real idea, but his problem may be a very small one, magnified by circumstance.

I'm sure that if I was on board that flight I would have found it alarming, but nobody died and the FO seems to have handled the situation as best he could in the interests of the safety of the flight (less so for the Captain, but let's face it if you have to choose between the two, you unfortunately may not be able to have 2 winners).

I hope the Captain is not too badly treated (I read this morning that he's been charged, and I hope that's wrong).

With only 2 people on the flight deck this must have been an interesting situation. Another use for flight engineers? I would also not have wanted to be the FO. I'm sure he was justified in his actions, and I'm sure he knows that, but I'd still feel pretty bad about what I'd done to a colleague.
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 01:06
  #92 (permalink)  
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Bad things happen to good people, and vice versa. The charge of Interfering with a flight crew is appropriate, in the scheme of things, and having the CEO go to bat for you will help. He will get help, and his life will change, hopefully for the better.

I'm having a hard time looking for something to criticize in this event. Everyone involved seemed to do the right things, pretty much. Well, some of the posts, heh........?
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 01:09
  #93 (permalink)  
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Well now we know more about the incident and where and how it started if this report is correct.

It seems he showed up late to work, missed the pre-flight briefing and was incoherent prior to takeoff.

Well I hope they do find the problem for his sake. A breakdown of some sort sure seems to be a logical conclusion at this stage. Hope he get well soon.

I can't believe they have actually charged him of a criminal act without actually knowing what the cause of the problem was for his behavior.

Kudos to the FO and the rest of the crew for an uneventful ending.

As for politics now being involved on the tread it is to be expected in America because both sides cannot leave it alone.

Link to article...

U.S. charges screaming, incoherent JetBlue pilot - Yahoo! News Canada

Some quotes from the article...

An affidavit by an FBI agent shows that trouble for the flight started before the Airbus A320 took off from New York City's LaGuardia Airport. Osbon was late arriving at the airport, and missed the routine pre-flight crew briefing, agent John Whitworth said in the affidavit.

Whitworth said problems continued as the Airbus A320 was taking off.

"Osbon talked about his church and needed to focus," Whitworth said in the affidavit. "Osbon began talking about religion, but his statements were not coherent."

The rest of the flight crew began to get nervous when Osbon told them that "things just don't matter" and began yelling over the plane's radio system, telling air traffic controllers to "be quiet," according to Whitworth's account in the affidavit. "The First Officer became really worried when Osbon said, ‘We need to take a leap of faith'," Whitworth said in the document. "Osbon started trying to correlate completely unrelated numbers and he talked about the sins in Las Vegas. At one point, Osbon told the (first officer), ‘We're not going to Vegas,' and began giving what was described as a sermon."
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 03:31
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You cant one day be perfectly healthy and the next day loose it, it's just doesn't happen. This man has either had an ongoing mental illness (psychotic illness) like Bipolar slowly developing away, or he has had something else happen medically. I doubt quite highly that he would be able to get away with BP in aviation. People who have serious mental illnesses do not know that anything they are doing is out of the ordinary. So their flighty ideas would stand out and be picked up by family, friends and his work profession.

I feel so sorry for this man and hope that he recovers soon. Well done to the F/O. He did everything right I believe.
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 05:11
  #95 (permalink)  
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I tell you what, it is bloody lucky that this kind of thing doesn't happen more often. I have only been flying commercially for airlines for 12 years but the way the industry has changed is remarkable. I now have to put up with totally over the top security procedures on a daily basis, companies crying poor every day and constantly trying to cut my pay and conditions or threaten me with redundancy, threat of terrorism, increasing perception by the public that we are just button pushers and finally the increased instances of passengers being disruptive.

If you are already in a slightly fragile state due to 'outside' events I can see that along with all the above pressure you wouldn't really need a big push to make you lose the plot. It happened last month with the Cabin Crew Member that lost it, now we see it here with the Captain. Lets hope that the next event isn't actually in the flight deck.
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 05:46
  #96 (permalink)  
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You cant one day be perfectly healthy and the next day loose it,

I'm still inclined to feel you're right. Usually there are clues well before a major BP departure from the norm.

My experience: I have posted on JB, I have, or had, three friends who were seriously Bp. All of them are dead. One murdered at 22years old, one suicide and one -? After a lifetime of just having a mix of friends, this cluster happened within c 5 years. Very puzzling and very distressing.

While thinking about this today, I recalled a captain, a senior man who was a pall of the owner, just started doing odd things. Our shiny new jets were not quite up to his standard inasmuch as the cockpits were not clean. I recall vividly him licking his finger and rubbing at the dirt and proclaiming, "see, duck egg blue. That's how it should look." He re-licked the filthy finger and repeated the process - several times. He then went on to suggesting brushes be issued to the engineers so that the dust between the radios could be swept out of the groves. I heard later he'd been delaying flights while dust was removed and the duck egg blue restored.

I imagine the next game of golf with the boss was a little strained.

I've wrestled the controls from my captain in the Innsbruck valley, and years later, stormed out of a very good job because of the bizarre and very, very dangerous practices of a captain in a well-known independent. I'd had enough, and no one would listen. So many respected captains knew, but no one did anything.

It had gone on for over a year.

The thing is, in this case, were there any clues prior to that day? And if there were, was there anyone that had the skills, and indeed the balls to take action? People I had admired were manifestly unable, or unwilling, to make these difficult decisions, so are modern management any better?

I'm sure they will be now. Cow. Gate. etc.
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 07:33
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Well done the crew.

Rare (thankfully) but definitely not unknown. I have seen several similar instances in the military. Usually the guy (girl) just disappears from the picture.
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 07:55
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Strange attitude sensed here, some justification that the Captain must have been ill and suddenly snapped!

While the Egypt Air 990 accident, it was widely accepted because the pilot was muslim, he was a nutter that deliberately brought down the aircraft!

I do agree that we should not pre-judge Captain Osborn, however early indications are not good with regards to his mental state or agenda!

Everybody here seems to want that there is some rational explanation for his actions, sudden mental illness, bipolar, brain tumour etc.

What if there is none?

There are fanatics in all walks of life unfortunately, and sometimes they do bad things!

I think if Osborn turns out to be one of the latter, it will be very difficult for colleagues and fellow pilots to ever accept this!

Since talk seems to have been about religion this morning, who knows what he had experienced this morning, maybe he had heard an inner voice, and was following orders from the all-mighty!

Watching some religious documentaries from the US in the past, it does not seem to be something unusual, with their all mighty double standards where unfortunately religion takes to strong prominence in some peoples life, it is probably just as scary to watch some fanatic religious Christian hill-billy running around, as some of those extreme fanatic Muslims constantly finding a way to find an excuse to blow something up!

Only in America, could you see something like this happen!
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 07:58
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Sometimes things end much worse. There was the Japan Airlines captain who acted bizarrely during flight and then crashed his DC8 deliberately short of the runway into Haneda bay many years ago killing several people, including the poor flight engineer who tried to restrain him. He had been taken off international flying previously, but had continued to fly.
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Old 29th Mar 2012, 08:05
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Clearly these events are very disturbing for everyone involved, mainly because they lack any meaning and occur totally out of character to the most unlikely people. A normally rational individual with a great record loses the plot and goes berserk - it is difficult not to feel both alarmed, but also a sense of deep sadness for the man involved and his family. I do, however, disagree with the view that all bad behaviour is essentially related to insanity in some form or other. If you do not have a factor in for pure badness then you are missing the point - that, incidentally, is not what I am suggesting here.

I am just concerned that this case is being compared to Sgt Bales in Afghanistan or someone who decides to strap a pile of explosives to himself, walk into a restaurant full of random strangers and blow himself up whilst believing all along he is doing a good thing. These are not comparable events and we should be careful in drawing comparisons.

I am a Brit and we do not have the same liberal-conservative debate being fought out at every available opportunity here. Because the Captain involved was a professing Christian and did not vote for Barack Obama does not make him a 'wacko', any more than him being a Muslim makes him a terrorist or being a liberal makes him a child-killing pervert. These characterisations are very common in the States, but not so much so here in Europe.

For what it is worth, there are people who get up in the morning and rationally decide to kill people - there are bad people out there who want to do terrible things. If your only point of reference is to remove personal responsibility for bad behaviour and explain it in terms of environment or mental illness you can never truly grasp the situation. To see murder in terms of bi-polar disorder or that someone must have trod on his hamster when he was six, then you will never truly understand human nature. Evil does exist and people do some truly terrible things by choice and with full sanity. Just read some history books and find out what people did in Auschwitz and Belsen simply because they could - it is truly horrific. Therefore, there is a balance here - by all means recognise the existence of mental illness, but we must also see that bad people do exist and do terrible things by choice. I am open to any explanation of this case - on the surface of things it seems like a clear case of mental illness that will go on to cause massive heartbreak to the individual, his company and his family.
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