JetBlue captain goes berserk on NYC-to-Vegas flight

Discussion in 'Other Aspects of Aviation Security' started by RB, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. RB

    RB Founding Member

  2. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Weird. Wonder how he was ejected from this cockpit? Did he & the FO go mano a mano until the FO chucked him out on his butt?

    Or did he leave & then go bonkers & find himself locked out?
  3. jtodd

    jtodd Original Member

    Now, what if this possibly "UNSCREENED" pilot had a gun? I know, I know, the odds of a pilot going off of the deep end is very unlikely. They've had background checks, psychological evaluations and are basically advanced Pre-Check trusted citizens. The odds of an airline captain going off the deep end is less likely than getting struck by lightning.

    Now, in the past 10 years, we have had 2 crazies, that were not very bright, and from outside of the US, try to ignite improperly made and faulty explosives. During that same period we have now had 2 pilots(1 of which was Air Canada on flight to UK) go crazy and create a realistic threat to all on board.

    HMM? This sounds like the same odds as a terrorist boarding a plane to blow it up. Did I do the math wrong?

    "...A police officer and an off-duty airline pilot subdued a JetBlue captain Tuesday morning aboard a Las Vegas-bound flight when the captain started pounding on the cockpit door after the flight's co-pilot asked him to leave and subsequently locked him out, a federal official told CBS News.
    The captain became incoherent during JetBlue Flight 191 from New York's John F. Kennedy International, prompting the co-pilot to get him to leave the cockpit, the official said. JetBlue said in a statement to CBS News that the flight was diverted to Amarillo, Texas, "for a medical situation involving the captain.".."
  4. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

    A pilot was interviewed last night on Nightline and he claimed pilots did not go through psychological evaluations.
  5. saulblum

    saulblum Original Member

    Given that there are far fewer pilots than passengers, the chances of a pilot going off the deep end are far greater than a passenger doing the same.

    Yet ...

    “Pilots are trusted partners who ensure the safety of millions of passengers flying every day,” said TSA Administrator John S. Pistole.
  6. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    He's been charged with interfering with a flight crew. How in the world can formal charges be filed against someone who clearly had a breakdown? I guess he's luck that an air marshal didn't shoot him, however.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Over the years there has been a movement to certify single pilot cockpits for commercial airplanes. I know this event was 1 in a ???? but I hope it brings some question to the advisability of single pilot commercial airplanes.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Also, how can you file such charges against some one who was in charge of the crew -- the captain's formal title in the regs is "pilot in command".

    Even if a plane's airworthiness certificate were to allow it to be flown by a single crew, the next hurdle would be the Part 121 regs & airline's own certificates. Conceivably single pilots could be allowed for cargo &/or charter operations but not for scheduled passenger service (Part 121).

    If the feds were to allow it, then both the airlines & their unions would have to accept the changes.

    I don't foresee all that happening for Part 121.
  9. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Single place large commercial aircraft has been at the discussion level for years. Agree that it would require a change of current FARs and updated cockpits to further reduce pilot workload. The reason for single pilot aircraft is cheaper operations and airlines will do most anything to reduce employee cost. I have no crystal ball but give it another 10 years and I think we will see the first commercial passenger aircraft that could be single pilot rated. I have no doubt that pilots and their unions will resist any move in this direction.
  10. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I can think of at least 3 incidents in recent years where crew members died or became incapacitated in mid-air. It would only take one or two crashes for people to realize what a bad idea single member crews are:
    • CO 757 southbound into Mexico, captain incapacitated (died in hospital), replaced on flight deck by passenger
    • AC over Canada, crew member (FO I think) ill, replaced on flight deck by FA w/ commercial license
    • CO over Atlantic, captain died, flight completed by two FO's
    There often other pilots on board, but first they would have to learn that there's a problem, and second they would have to get through today's secured cockpit doors. Once they are in, they might not be familiar with the aircraft type or the electronics.
  11. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Mike, I'm not a proponent of going to single place cockpits. I think it is a bad idea all the way around but if airlines think they can cut cost I believe they would be willing partners in such an endeavor. I think people need to know that there is discussion of making this happen in future aircraft. As it is now some aircraft are almost advanced enough to be able to take off, fly its flight plan and land itself with little assistance from the pilots. Even more concerning is the possiblity of ground controlled aircraft and that is a proven technology.
  12. Doober

    Doober Original Member

    I was gratified to see that a competency hearing has been scheduled for this man.
  13. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    It'll be interesting to see the outcome. A couple of years ago, a relative of my husband suddenly starting exhibiting strange symptoms. Withdrawal, unresponsiveness. Turned out he had a brain tumor. He was dead within 6 months. This is the third person I've known who's died of a brain tumor, and in all cases they had complete personality changes. I'm not saying that's what this guy has, obviously, just that the changes can be sudden and profound.
  14. Monica47

    Monica47 Original Member

  15. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Based on a TSA agent's opinion?? Yeah, I'd trust that opinion.
  16. N965VJ

    N965VJ Original Member

    Since this happened at 6:15 in the morning, I'll bet this involved the smell of alcohol. Even if it didn't, a crewmember appeared to be incapacitated the the rest of the crew did nothing about it, such as saying to them before leaving the hotel "Just go back to you room and call in sick." Whatever happened, DL management agreed and replaced them.

    If crews are going to act this irresponsibly, then it's yet another reason why they should be subjected to the same common sense screening as everyone else and not bypass the checkpoint. Check your copy of the unredacted TSA screening manual; there's a procedure for dealing with this exact issue.
  17. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Here's the follow-up:
    He's an inactive employee of Jet Blue.
  18. Caradoc

    Caradoc Original Member

    There's a problem, there. I don't trust any TSA employee to be fit to judge anyone else unfit for *anything,* given the poor judgement they demonstrate by "working" for the TSA.

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