As the day would evolve, the 2012 JetBlue Flight 191 from New York to Las Vegas was diverted to Amarillo, Texas, after a "medical situation involving the captain" developed, the airline said.
Captain Clayton Osbon left the cockpit and began talking with some of the passengers. When he tried to re-enter and realized it was locked, he became agitated. Numerous passengers say that the 49-year-old captain then ran through the cabin screaming "say your prayers" and "we're all going down" while ranting about Iraq, al-Qaeda, and acts of terrorism. Several witnesses say a flight attendant then got on the intercom and asked passengers -- several of which were headed to an International Security Conference that will take place at Las Vegas' Sands Expo and Convention Center this Wednesday through Friday -- to restrain him. Passengers offered up their belts to keep the captain subdued.
A passenger spoke to CNN's Brooke Baldwin about what she saw.
"The pilot ran to the cockpit door, began banging on it and said something to the effect of, 'We've gotta pull the throttle back. We've gotta get this plane down,'" said Laurie Dhue.
"At that point, the two flight attendants tried to subdue him, and then seemingly out of nowhere, about six or seven large guys stormed to the front of the plane and wrestled the captain of the plane down to the ground and had him subdued in a matter of moments. It was really like something out of a movie," she said.
"At roughly 10 a.m. CT/11 a.m. ET, the pilot in command elected to divert to Amarillo, Texas, for a medical situation involving the captain. Another captain, traveling off duty, entered the flight deck prior to landing at Amarillo and took over the duties of the ill crew member once on the ground," JetBlue said.
The crew member was taken off the plane and transported to a medical facility, it said.
FBI Special Agent Lydia Maese said the FBI responded to the incident and is coordinating with Amarillo and airport police, the Federal Aviation Administration and the TSA (Transportation Safety Administration).
"Since it's a pending investigation at this point we really can't comment any more," she said.
American Airlines Flight 191 was a regularly scheduled passenger flight in the United States from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, to Los Angeles International Airport. On May 25, 1979, the McDonnell Douglas DC-10-10 operating the route crashed moments after takeoff from Chicago. All 258 passengers and 13 crew on board were killed, along with two people on the ground.
Some notable victims in the crash of American Airlines Flight 191 were:
-Itzhak Bentov, a biomedical inventor (the cardiac catheter), New Age author (Stalking the Wild Pendulum and A Cosmic Book) and kundalini researcher
-Several senior executives of the accounting firm Coopers & Lybrand
-Sheila Charisse, the daughter-in-law of movie actress Cyd Charisse
-Leonard Stogel, music business manager/promoter/producer/executive for California Jam and California Jam II, The Cowsills, Sam the Sham, Tommy James & The Shondells, Redbone, Gentle Giant, and other musical groups
-Several people in relation with Playboy magazine:
-Members of the American Booksellers Association who were on their way to their annual convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center, where they were to have a joint party organized by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner
-Victoria Haider, magazine editor for Playboy magazine (and sometimes editor of Harlan Ellison)
-Judith Wax and her husband, Sheldon Wax. Judith Wax frequently contributed to Playboy (Sheldon was its managing editor), notably the annual "Christmas cards" piece that "presented" short satirical poems to various public figures. In her 1979 book, Starting in the Middle, she had written about her fear of flying on page 191.
-Francis Gemme, president of Children's Press in Chicago.
The aircraft was assigned the airport's Runway 22 for the takeoff, but used Runway 26 instead. Runway 26 was too short for a safe takeoff, causing the aircraft to overrun the end of the runway before it could become airborne. It crashed just past the end of the runway, killing all 47 passengers and two of the three crew. The flight's first officer was the only survivor. Although not the pilot in command, according to the cockpit voice recorder transcript, the first officer was the pilot flying at the time of the accident.
"191," of course, can be rearranged as "911."
Update: I've just discovered that Justin Heckert wrote about the "coincidence" of Flight 191s in his "The World's Riskiest Flight" on July 23, 2007, for Esquire. Heckert correctly predicted the flight I have noted today might be a future target to watch. He wrote:
This type of information will not abate my nightmares, nor may it be useful to anyone else who flies. But it will keep me off the JetBlue flight that goes to Vegas from JFK, and the Continental one that goes from Miami to Houston, and not that I'll be spending any time in Kaohsiung, but if I do, I sure won't be leaving on the China Airlines flight from Taipei to get there. Because while I'm not afraid of flying, I am scared as hell by coincidence.