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Pilot causes emergency landing at Rick Husband International Airport

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Amarillo, TX - A reported unruly pilot forces a plane to make an emergency landing this morning at the Rick Husband International Airport in Amarillo. 

The flight originated at JFK airport in New York and was headed for Las Vegas.

Eyewitnesses on the plane say one of the pilots went to the restroom when he was locked out of the cockpit.

Witnesses say he began banging on the cockpit door and one witness says he began running up and down the aisles screaming until some passengers were able to subdue him until an emergency landing could be made.

The Jet Blue airplane remains on the tarmac and passengers are being interviewed by federal officials.

The FBI says they had local agents from the Amarillo area respond to the airport after the emergency landing.

They say they are coordinating efforts with the Amarillo Police Department and airport police at this time.

They are doing a preliminary investigation to see if there was any sort of federal violation that took place.

The public information officer for the FBI's Dallas Office says as far as they know an arrest has not been made at this time.

It is unsure when the preliminary investigation will be finished.


Statement from JetBlue: 

Flight 191  JFK-LAS
135 customers
6 crew (5 working and one off-duty)
Scheduled departure:      6:55 a.m.
Actual departure:             7:28 a.m.

Flight 191 departed New York's JFK airport at 7:28 am ET (was scheduled to depart 6:55 am ET).

At roughly 10 am CT/11 am ET, the pilot in command elected to divert to Amarillo, TX for a medical situation involving the Captain. 

Another Captain, traveling off duty, entered the flight deck prior to landing at Amarillo, and took over the duties of the ill crewmember once on the ground.

The aircraft arrived Amarillo at 10:11 am CT, and the crewmember was removed from the aircraft and taken to a local medical facility. 

Customers remain on board at this time. JetBlue is working with local authorities and airport officials for the safe deplaning of the aircraft and will send a new aircraft to continue the flight to LAS.

 


Statement from the Federal Aviation Administration:


This morning, at approximately 9:53 a.m. Central Time, a Jet Blue flight en route to Las Vegas from New York JFK International Airport was diverted to Amarillo Rick Husband International Airport for an onboard medical emergency.  

Preliminary information indicates that after landing, it was learned that the co-pilot became concerned that the captain exhibited erratic behavior during the flight.  The captain had exited the cockpit during the flight, after which the co-pilot locked the door. When the captain attempted to enter the locked cockpit, he was subdued by passengers.  After the flight landed safely, local law enforcement secured the pilot without incident, and he was transported by ambulance for medical evaluation.  

The aircraft was towed to the terminal building and the passengers were safely deplaned from the aircraft. Passengers are currently awaiting continuation of their travel to Las Vegas.  

The FBI, FAA, TSA and local law enforcement are coordinating on this incident.  

 

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