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Jetblue Pilot Who Disrupted Flight To Be Freed



Clayton Osbon will not be allowed to fly or board any commercial or private planes, and he will not be allowed to communicate with any of the passengers on the March 27 flight he disrupted.

A Texas judge ordered Friday that a JetBlue Airways pilot who disrupted a cross-country flight by leaving the cockpit and yelling about religion and terrorists should be freed rather than committed to a mental health facility, the Associated Press reports.

Clayton Osbon was charged with interference with a flight crew for the March incident, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity in July. A forensic neuropsychologist testified in a short, unpublicized trial that Osbon had a “brief psychotic disorder” brought on by lack of sleep.

U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson said Friday that Osbon would be allowed to go free, but set certain conditions for his release. He will not be allowed to fly or board any commercial or private planes, and he will not be allowed to communicate with any of the passengers on the March 27 flight he disrupted, according to Robinson’s order.

Passengers said Osbon left the cockpit during the March flight from New York to Las Vegas. He ran through the plane’s cabin yelling about Jesus and al-Qaida. The flight was diverted and safely landed in Amarillo, Texas.

After the trial, Osbon, 49, was sent to a prison medical facility in North Carolina for evaluation. Robinson was to decide what happened next for Osbon in August, but instead extended his evaluation period into October after being notified that Osbon had suffered a psychotic episode in prison. She did not say what the nature of the episode was, if it was connected to his previous disorder or what prompted it.

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