The wife of the JetBlue pilot who had a midair meltdown that triggered an emergency landing said on Sunday his family is focused on his recovery and thanked those on the flight for their professionalism after being put in "an awful situation."
Flight 191 from New York to Las Vegas was diverted to Amarillo, Texas, last Tuesday, following what authorities described as erratic behavior by Capt. Clayton Osbon, who allegedly ran through the cabin before passengers tackled him in the galley.
The federal criminal complaint against Obson states that he mentioned “being evaluated by someone” to the first officer, spoke of church and needing to “focus.” He asked the first officer to take the controls as he made incoherent comments about religion and then said, “things just don’t matter.”
Over the radio, Osbon yelled at air traffic controllers to be quiet and admonished the first officer for talking on the radio and then said, “we need to take a leap of faith.”
A federal criminal complaint alleges that JetBlue captain Clayton Osbon told his first officer, "we need to take a leap of faith." NBC's Tom Costello reports.
"It is our belief, as Clayton's family, that while he was clearly distressed, he was not intentionally violent toward anyone," said a statement by Connye Osbon on behalf of the Osbon family that was released by JetBlue on Sunday. "We know you were placed in an awful situation and we appreciate your ability to respond professionally."
Connye Osbon asked the media for privacy and said the family would not be granting interviews or making further statements. She said the family appreciated the public's concern.
"We hope you can empathize and understand that our focus completely surrounds Clayton's recovery and the path that lies immediately ahead," the statement said.
JetBlue said in a blog post last week that it will not share further details about the captain's "private life."
Clayton Osbon awaits a court appearance in Amarillo on a federal charge of interfering with a flight crew. Osbon is charged with interfering with a flight crew and, if convicted, could face 20 years in prison.
The 12-year JetBlue veteran was suspended while authorities investigate the incident, the airline said last week.
Reuters contributed to this report.