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The JetBlue Co-Pilot Who Saved the Day

The JetBlue Co-Pilot Who Saved the Day


Airdate: 03/29/2012

It's the first photo of the co-pilot being hailed a new American hero.

First Officer Jason Dowd seized control of that JetBlue plane when Captain Clayton Osbon went nuts at 35,000 feet.

Dowd tricked the deranged captain into going to the bathroom in the back of the plane, then locked the cockpit and changed the security code so Osbon couldn't get back in.

Passenger Tony Antolino said Dowd saved the day.

"The co-pilot is really the hero here for being able to recognize that his captain was having a crisis," said Antolino.

Here's what we know about Jason Dowd:

He's 41 and lives in Salem, Ohio. He's a married father of two.

More details are also emerging of Captain Osbon's mental collapse. A shocking FBI affadavit reveals that he went on a religious rant to his co-pilot before shutting off the cockpit radios and announcing: "We need to take a leap of faith."

The affidavit also says he screamed at air traffic controllers to be quiet and ranted about sins in Las Vegas, where the plane was heading after taking off from JFK in New York.

"We're not going to Vegas," he declared.

Osbon's meltdown was initially said to have been a panic attack. But the severity of his outburst is leading some to conclude it was a full-blown mental collapse.

INSIDE EDITION spoke to ABC News Chief Health and Medical expert Dr. Richard Besser, who has not examined Osbon.

Besser told INSIDE EDITION, "If you have mental illness that's well-controlled and you stop taking medications, that can lead to a psychotic break. And then rarely, things going on in your head; brain tumors, infections, those too can lead to a psychotic breakdown."

Osbon's mother said in a statement Wednesday:

"The news surrounding this incident involving Clayton has shocked me and I'm sure it shocked all the people that know Clayton personally."

Fortunately, all 135 passengers aboard JetBlue flight 191 are safe and sound. So naturally, the terrifying incident was perfect material for the late night comics.

David Letterman said, "How do you do, ladies and gentlemen? Welcome to JetBlue, I'm captain Dave."

Jay Leno said, "I mean, how bad is airline travel when you got to start putting pilots on the "do not fly" list?"

Letterman also said, "The pilot was running down the aisle, and the passengers subdued him, and a guy knocked him out cold. You know what he used? This is good thinking for the future, he knocked him out with a dinner roll."

It's funny now, but for those passengers who experienced the terror first hand, this was no laughing matter.
 


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