Updated: 04/07/12 : 06:43:51Printable Version
A JetBlue Airways pilot who was wrestled to the ground by passengers during a midair meltdown has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.
Clayton Osbon, 49, was charged with interfering with a flight crew after the incident on March 27 on a flight from Las Vegas to New York.
During the flight he screamed about bombs and terrorists and had to be subdued and forcibly restrained from re-entering the cockpit, according to court papers.
US District Judge Mary Lou Robinson said Osbon suffered from a "severe mental disease or defect".
He will be sent to a federal mental health facility for further examination until another hearing on or before August 6.
The judge will decide whether he can be released or should be committed to a mental facility.
Passengers said they wrestled him to the floor after he ran through the plane's cabin yelling about Jesus and al Qaeda. The plane made an emergency landing in Texas.
Next month's hearing puts the burden on Osbon to show "by clear and convincing evidence" that his release would not pose future danger, according to court records.
JetBlue spokeswoman Alison Croyle said the airline "continues to support the Osbon family; we don't have further comment as we let the judicial process play out".
"We can confirm he is still employed, on inactive status, with JetBlue," Ms Croyle said.