SAN ANTONIO, (Reuters) – A JetBlue flight bound for Las Vegas was diverted to Texas yesterday following what federal authorities described as erratic behavior by the captain, who passengers said had to be restrained after he pounded on the locked cockpit door.
The FBI is investigating the incident on Flight 191 from New York, which had 135 passengers on board when the pilot-in-command decided to redirect the plane to Amarillo, Texas.
JetBlue said in a statement the flight was diverted due to a “medical situation” involving the captain but made no mention of any commotion on board.
Passengers who were on the plane described a chaotic mid-flight scene in which a man in a JetBlue uniform, apparently locked out of the cockpit, began banging on the door and demanding to be let inside. Passengers subdued him. “People behind me, a bunch of big guys, started going up there and trying to help, and we found out that the guy banging was actually the pilot, and he was trying to get into the cockpit because the other co-pilot had locked him out,” passenger Grant Heppes told Reuters.
“Everybody seemed pretty nervous,” he added. “Nobody was sure what was going on. Everybody seemed very concerned.” Passenger Heidi Karg told CNN that the captain, before he was wrestled to the ground, had been pounding on the door saying, “I need the code. Give me the code.”