Mind Control Victim?
A JetBlue flight from New York to Las Vegas was forced to land in Texas today after passengers had to subdue the plane’s pilot, who shouted about bombs and al-Qaeda after suffering what was described as a “medical situation,” the Amarillo Globe-News reports.
Update at 6:02 p.m. ET: An airline security consultant tells USA TODAY’s Nancy Trejos that no official mental health testing is required for pilots.
“The mental health side is constant monitoring from your co-workers,” says Dave Funk, a retired Northwest Airlines captain with Laird & Associates.
If a pilot’s personality changes drastically, “we’re going to pull him aside. Management will get involved and not in a hostile fashion. We work with people.”
Update at 5:09 p.m. ET: The FAA requires commercial pilots to be medically certified every year if they are younger than 40 or every six months if older, USA TODAY’s Bart Jansen reports.
A pilot must have a physical exam by an FAA-designated medical examiner, who assesses the pilot’s psychological condition as part of the checkup. The examiner can order additional psychological testing.
Another Victim? Some Kind Of Secret Testing?
A passenger on US Airways flight 1697 from Charlotte to Fort Myers, Florida had to be restrained and placed in hand ties after attacking the flight crew, according to an airline employee. The flight, which departed from Charlotte at 4:21 p.m. and arrived shortly after 6 p.m., was greeted by police and EMS.
The woman was taken out of the airport by police once the plane arrived. She was observed by EMS in the terminal before being taken away. During that time, she was screaming and crying. Peggy Albedhady-Sanchez, 50, of New Jersey was arrested and charged with three counts of battery and one count of interfering with an aircraft. Passengers on board were shaken, but also praised the flight crew on how they handled the situation.