JetBlue Flight Forced to Land After Deranged Captain Screamed 'There's a Bomb On Board!'

JetBlue Flight 191 had to make an emergency landing today in Amarillo, Texas. The flight was en route to Las Vegas from New York's JFK when a man—allegedly the flight's captain—got out of the restroom "foaming at the mouth" and screaming.


According to witnesses, the captain left the restroom screaming there was a bomb on board and proceeded to bang the cockpit's door. He then started to run down the aisle screaming "say your prayers, say your prayers" until four passengers—including a retired NYPD sergeant—restrained him.

Another JetBlue captain on the flight then took his place in the cockpit and landed the plane safely at 10:11am. Ambulances were waiting on the runway. What seems like a Cobra helicopter is also next to the plane on the ground, but it's not clear if it was already there or dispatched to Amarillo after the emergency was declared.

The airplane was a Airbus A320, which holds 150 passengers. There's no details about how many passengers were on the flight, which departed today from Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport at 7:28 am today.

Connect Amarillo has posted the following official statement from JetBlue:

Flight 191 departed New York's JFK airport at 7:28 am ET (was scheduled to depart 6:55 am ET). At roughly 10 am CT/11 am ET, the pilot in command elected to divert to Amarillo, TX for a medical situation involving the Captain. Another Captain, traveling off duty, entered the flight deck prior to landing at Amarillo, and took over the duties of the ill Crewmember once on the ground. The aircraft arrived Amarillo at 10:11 am CT, and the crewmember was removed from the aircraft and taken to a local medical facility.

Customers remain on board at this time. JetBlue is working with local authorities and airport officials for the safe deplaning of the aircraft. JetBlue will send a new aircraft to continue the flight to LAS.

Update: There's a second video from another passenger. FoxNY also has a description from a passenger: "I saw a guy wearing a pilot's uniform run down the aisle screaming and yelling and banging on the cockpit door to let him in."

Update 2: Another video from the outside of the plane, after the emergency landing. Notice the Cobra helicopter next to the airplane.


Update 3: Talking to Jalopnik, JetBlue Flight 191 passenger Grant Heppes said that the captain was screaming "pray with me!" and "Iran!" and "Iraq!" before the passengers tackled him. People starting to yell "Restrain him! Restrain him!" He also claims that he was told that the co-pilot thought the captain "wasn't right" and convinced him to leave the cockpit. After he was outside, Heppes claims the co-pilot made an announcement asking to restrain the captain.



The cobra helo has nothing to do with this story. If you look, it's tied down (tie down chains holding it to the ground) and the rotor is secured with straps to prevent the wind from turning it. There is no crew in or around it. It would take quite a bit of time to prepare this helo for flight. In other words - this helo is parked there, and has been for a while. The A320 was likely told to park near the local Air National Guard - where the helo was already parked - for security reasons.