A JetBlue captain who was wrestled to the floor by passengers after yelling about a bomb and urging people to pray during a Las Vegas-bound flight has been charged by federal prosecutors and suspended from his job.
The Greek Paul Babakitis is now treated as a hero, as he, along with other passengers of flight 191 of JetBlue Airlines from John F. Kennedy Airport to Las Vegas, immobilized the pilot whose erratic behavior during the flight exposed the people at great risk.
When the retired police officer heard the pilot screaming “They’re going to take us down. Say the Lord’s prayer” he didn’t hesitate at all. He took action with the help of other passengers.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the co-pilot became concerned about the captain’s “erratic behavior during the flight” and locked the cockpit door while the pilot was outside. The brave passengers restrained him and the co-pilot proceeded to an emergency landing in Texas.
“I thought he shouldn’t go back to the cockpit, I was afraid he was going to drop the plane instead of making an emergency landing. I kept saying to myself ‘not in this flight too, not in this flight too’” said the Greek passenger and added: “I have experience of similar cases when someone gets out of control, but I didn’t expect something like this at 30,000 feet!”