The former pilot of JetBlue Airways who ran through the plane he was captaining screaming about terrorism and religion, experienced a psychotic episode while in custody. According to just released court documents, the pilot will now require additional evaluation.
On a flight to Las Vegas from New York, on March 27, Clayton Obson started speaking loudly about religion, then proceeded to run throughout the cabin area of the plane shouting about Jesus and Al Qaeda. Passengers helped the flight crew to restrain Osbon, while the flight diverted to an airport in Amarillo, Texas.
Following a psychiatric exam, the pilot was found mentally competent to stand trial. He faced charges of interfering with a flight crew. Last month, a judge found him not guilty due to insanity. He was then committed to a mental health institute for further evaluation. This week he was scheduled to appear in court for a hearing to see if he would be set free.
However, prior to the hearing, the federal facility informed the Judge, through a letter about the psychotic episode, experienced by Obson. The facility requested additional time to complete its evaluation process. Documents obtained from the court did not detail what happened in the incident.
The evaluation period was extended to October 15. Both the prosecution and defense agreed to the decision of the judge.
A minimum of 10 passengers on the flight the day the incident took place have sued the airline. They claim they were worried about their safety and that the airline had been grossly negligent for allowing Obson to continue flying commercial jets.