Video: JetBlue pilot has apparent breakdown onboard

posted at 5:25 pm on March 27, 2012 by Allahpundit

I’m giving you two cell-phone clips from the flight itself. The audio, alas, is poor, with someone clearly shouting in the distance but unintelligibly (at least to me). According to Fox News, though, he was ranting about Iran and Iraq and someone heard something about bombs. When he tried to get back in the cockpit, two stewardesses stopped him and then a bunch of male passengers, including a member of the NYPD, brought him down.

Sound suspicious? That’s where the third clip below comes in, and that’s the one you should absolutely watch. Former Fox News anchor Laurie Dhue was on the plane and phoned in afterward to FNC to give Shep the scoop. From what she’s heard from the cops, the pilot is a vet and may have had an episode triggered by PTSD. JetBlue released a statement after the flight saying that he had suffered a “medical situation.” I’m curious to know if he’s suffered a breakdown before, how severe it was, and what JB’s policy is on clearing pilots with psychological conditions for flight. They managed to bring this bird in safely — as luck would have it, another pilot was flying as a passenger and was brought up to the cockpit to help land it(!) — but needless to say, things could have gotten very bad. In fact, according to Fox, at one point before he was restrained he “appeared to want to open the plane’s side door.” Gulp.


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Pat Dollard is reporting that the pilot was not a military veteran.

Crusty on March 27, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Oh, good Lord, enough with the PTSD bullsh*t. This had nothing to do with PTSD, and I’m getting real sick of the media (including Hot Air) trying to rebuild the post-Vietnam narrative that veterans are “ticking time bombs”. It’s insulting and obnoxious to anyone who’s ever served.

Hayabusa on March 27, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Oh, good Lord, enough with the PTSD bullsh*t. This had nothing to do with PTSD, and I’m getting real sick of the media (including Hot Air) trying to rebuild the post-Vietnam narrative that veterans are “ticking time bombs”. It’s insulting and obnoxious to anyone who’s ever served.

Hayabusa

Amen.

One male relative of mine fought in both WWII and in Korea. He said he saw things “you wouldn’t believe” many times through his three years in WWII, had to kill Nazis in hand-to-hand combat at one point during the Italian campaign, had to clean bodies off the beach after Normandy, and helped process the survivors of a concentration camp in the summer of ’45.

He had enough trauma for ten lifetimes, in just those three years. Then, having stayed in the military and risen in rank, he oversaw a field hospital for horrifically wounded soldiers in Korea.

And after all that — zilch in the mental illness department. He was perfectly fine, never had “PTSD,” moved on with his life etc. As did most of his friends.

Another relative of mine was in Vietnam, and although he never saw combat, he was deeply traumatized when his bunkmate on a carrier hung himself on the flight deck, and my relative discovered the body. He also witnessed a brutal rape by a fellow GI on a Filipina girl in Subic Bay.

He said both incidents were “life-changing” and horrific in the extreme to him.

And yet…he is the most mentally healthy person I’ve ever met. Never angry, always jolly, his kids love him, etc. etc.

All the cases of veterans’ PTSD that I’ve personally observed in my life involved drug abuse. I.e. their acting out came as a result of drug-taking, which they said they did because they got PTSD from military service. (Mostly as a way to get additional benefits, frankly.)

Zombie on March 27, 2012 at 9:43 PM

I’m very disappointed not to see “Grunt” here, defending this lunatic pilot the way he defended the flight attendant who went bonkers in mid-flight a few weeks ago, and had to be restrained much the same way this guy had to be. Wherever you are, Grunt, come out and play! You sure were entertaining that night. Then again, after the shellacking you took, you’re probably not going to come within 10 miles of this one.

Dopenstrange on March 27, 2012 at 10:20 PM

As an aviator myself, it took a big set of balls for the First Officer to lock the Captain out of the cockpit. In order for the F.O. to do that, the Captain must have uttered some pretty scary stuff. Kudos to the co-pilot.

Hawkerflyer on March 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM

As an aviator myself, it took a big set of balls for the First Officer to lock the Captain out of the cockpit. In order for the F.O. to do that, the Captain must have uttered some pretty scary stuff. Kudos to the co-pilot.

Hawkerflyer on March 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM

+1 agreed.

Chuckie on March 28, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Laurie Dhue…do you do the do ??? I loved your lips

birdhurd on March 28, 2012 at 1:27 AM

Come fly with me!

Oh yes let’s fly awaaaaayAAAA!

Old Jet Blue Eyes…..

Sherman1864 on March 28, 2012 at 7:17 AM

They managed to bring this bird in safely — as luck would have it, another pilot was flying as a passenger and was brought up to the cockpit to help land it(!) — but needless to say, things could have gotten very bad.

Cool your jets, Allahpundit. There was already another pilot in the cockpit who could have landed the airplane with only a little difficulty. Bringing up the ‘deadhead’ pilot only made it easier – it wasn’t an “OMG, we’re all gonna die!!11!!1!” moment.

GWB on March 28, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Hawkerflyer on March 27, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Agree wholeheartedly! Somebody’s CRM Training worked! (CRM = Cockpit Resource Management – do they still call it that?)

GWB on March 28, 2012 at 9:45 AM


In fact, according to Fox, at one point before he was restrained he “appeared to want to open the plane’s side door.” Gulp.

No “gulp” needed, that door can’t be opened.

Tony737 on March 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM

That clip really makes me want to fly! They want to touch your junk and search your cracks… before you get on the plane, and then you have to wonder if someone’s going to ‘crack’ while you are in the air! No thanks!

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 5:46 PM

We had a nice ride from Boston down to Richmond and back the last couple of weeks on Amtrak. I recommend it.

My wife (a physician) suggests that the crazed pilot may have had a reaction to some kind of prescription drug, for example Chantix.

MrLynn on March 28, 2012 at 2:31 PM

Agree wholeheartedly! Somebody’s CRM Training worked! (CRM = Cockpit Resource Management – do they still call it that?)

GWB on March 28, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Yes they do as a matter of fact. :)

Hawkerflyer on March 28, 2012 at 4:13 PM

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