JetBlue Pilot Says He Was Insane During Mid-Flight Meltdown

Why would an airplane pilot start freaking out and yelling about a bomb during a flight? Insanity, of course. The JetBlue pilot who flipped out midair last month will plead that he was insane during the incident, his lawyer says. He was indicted in federal court in Texas last week for interfering with the crew.

The pilot, whose meltdown prompted an emergency landing, was suspended afterward from JetBlue.

His attorney says he’ll use the insanity defense, reports Reuters. He’s been undergoing court-ordered psychiatric examination to determine if he could stand trial, but the results of that examination haven’t been made public.

According to the FBI, the pilot’s freakout started while he was at the controls of the plane on its way to Las Vegas, about halfway through. Officials claim he started saying, “Things just don’t matter,” and told the first officer, “We’re not going to Vegas.”

He then left the cockpit and began running up and down the aisle and banged on a bathroom door, tried to get back into the cockpit and was restrained by passengers. The FBI says that while he was being restrained, he yelled about Iraq, Iran and terrorists and shouted things like “Pray now for Jesus Christ,” and pointed toward the cockpit to yell, “Guys, push it to full throttle!”

JetBlue pilot who had midair meltdown to plead insanity-filing [Reuters]