US & Canada

'Insanity' clears JetBlue 'bomb' pilot Clayton Osbon

JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon undated police picture
JetBlue flight 191 was carrying 135 people when it landed three-and-a-half hours into the flight

A US pilot who screamed about a bomb on a flight and had to be restrained by passengers was found not guilty for reasons of insanity, a court has said.

A judge in Amarillo, Texas, said JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon suffered "severe mental disease or defect".

Mr Osbon was previously ruled competent enough to stand trial. He is to be re-evaluated before a hearing on 6 August to decide whether he can be released.

He was charged with interfering with crew on a New York-Las Vegas flight.

The plane was forced to make an emergency landing after Mr Osbon's actions on 27 March.

Passengers said they had to wrestle the pilot to the floor during the flight after he began screaming about a bomb and terrorists.

At the time, JetBlue had said there was nothing in the pilot's records that suggested he might be a risk.

Court records say Mr Osbon must show "by clear and convincing evidence" that, if released, he would not pose any future danger. The judge could decide to commit him to a mental health facility.

A JetBlue spokeswoman said the airline still employs Mr Osbon but he is on "inactive status", adding that the company was still offering support to the pilot's family.

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