A JetBlue pilot became incoherent on a flight bound for Las Vegas Tuesday morning and ended up trying to storm the cockpit after allegedly telling passengers to “say their prayers.” JetBlue flight 191 was diverted to Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport and landed safely. The man was taken into custody and is reportedly now undergoing a medical evaluation.
Reports on exactly what happened aboard JetBlue flight 191 are still conflicting. However, it appears that one of the co-pilots on the flight allegedly lost it and went rogue somewhere on the way between New York and Las Vegas.
Several hours into the flight, one of the co-pilots reportedly left the cockpit and went into one of the restrooms. Meanwhile, a flight attendant reportedly approached a passenger dressed partially in a pilot’s uniform and escorted him to the cockpit. The cockpit was then sealed shut and locked.
According to CBS in Dallas, when the man who had left the cockpit exited the restroom, he was exhibiting “odd behavior, randomly striking up conversations with passengers on the way back to the cockpit.” Witnesses say when the man found he was locked out of the cockpit, he began screaming for them to let him in, pounding on the door and saying things like “I need the code, gimme the code, I need to get in there.” The man also reportedly said something about passengers needing to “say their prayers” and may have uttered the word “bomb.”
Flight attendants on the Jetblue flight 191 plane reportedly recruited passengers to help tackle and restrain the man. One passenger told the CBS in Dallas, “He picked the wrong plane. Huge guys just tackled him. The response was Olympics kind of stuff.”
A federal government official told CBS in Dallas that the man was one of the pilots of the plane and became “incoherent,” which scared the co-pilot into luring him out of the cabin and locking him out.
A sketchy statement by JetBlue released Tuesday afternoon said the captain on board flight 191 suffered a “medical situation” while in flight. Another pilot, who was traveling off duty “entered the flight deck prior to landing at Amarillo and took over the duties of the ill crew member,” the statement said.
The Amarillo police department and the FBI are reportedly working together to investigate the incident.
The unidentified JetBlue pilot who was taken into custody has reportedly now been transported to a medical facility in Amarillo.