Updated 03/27/2012 11:24 PM
Medical Emergency Forces JetBlue Flight From New York To Land
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A JetBlue flight headed from New York to Las Vegas was forced to land in Texas Tuesday after an onboard medical emergency.
The Federal Aviation Administration says the co-pilot of JetBlue Flight 191 decided to land in Amarillo around 10 a.m. Central Time, after concerns the captain had acted erratically during the flight, which started at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The FAA says the captain exited the cockpit and the co-pilot locked the door.
When the captain attempted to enter the locked cockpit, he was subdued by passengers.
JetBlue says the captain had a "medical situation."
Some of those on board say he was pounding on the cockpit door yelling about Israel, Iraq and a bomb.
"He kept yelling, first Iraq, second Afghanistan and 9/11 and now this. I'm not sure what now this meant, but about 15 minutes later we made an emergency landing," said a passenger.
"He started to curse at me and tell me I better pray and was talking about Iraq and Iran, and I said, 'You know what? Let me show you Iraq and Iran.' And I got him in a chokehold," said another passenger.
The airline says an off-duty captain who happened to be on the plane went to the flight deck and took over the duties of the ill captain, who was taken to a medical facility after landing.
Audio recordings captured air traffic controllers warning other nearby flights of an emergency in the skies, while the crew on board Flight 191 calmly requested medical and security personnel on the tarmac.
Both were immediately at the scene, where they carried the pilot off in a stretcher and into a waiting ambulance. The pilot was reportedly taken to an Amarillo-area hospital.
All of the passengers boarded another flight to Las Vegas several hours later.
There will be a joint investigation between the FBI, FAA and the Transportation Safety Administration, and by late Tuesday no arrests had been made.