The wife of a JetBlue pilot from Georgia who faces a federal charge of interference with a flight crew today said that while her husband “was clearly distressed, he was not intentionally violent toward anyone.”
Clayton Frederick Osbon, 49, of Richmond Hill, was piloting JetBlue Flight No. 191 from John F. Kennedy Airport in New York to Las Vegas on March 27 when he left the cockpit and went to the forward lavatory. The flight’s first officer assumed control of the flight and barred Osbon from re-entering the cockpit.
After the first officer declared an emergency, the flight was diverted to Amarillo, Texas. If convicted, Osbon, who remains at Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the FBI.
In her statement Osbon’s wife, Connye Osbon, asked the media to “respect our wishes for privacy.”
“We hope you can empathize and understand that our focus completely surrounds Clayton’s recovery and the path that lies immediately ahead,” she added.
Connye Osbon’s complete statement:
“First, we would like to thank all those who have expressed concern and kind thoughts during this difficult time. We appreciate the public’s interest in our family’s current situation and in Clayton’s well-being.
“We would also like to thank the kind and compassionate team of doctors and staff at Northwest Texas Healthcare System in Amarillo, as well as the many friends, coworkers, and loved ones who have reached out to us to wish Clayton well during this challenging time.
“At this time, we ask that the media respect our wishes for privacy. We understand the public’s interest in speaking with Clayton and family members, but we respectfully decline all interview requests and will not be making further statements.
“We hope you can empathize and understand that our focus completely surrounds Clayton’s recovery and the path that lies immediately ahead.
“Finally, we would like to recognize the Crew and passengers of Flight 191 for their effective yet compassionate handling of the situation. It is our belief, as Clayton’s family, that while he was clearly distressed, he was not intentionally violent toward anyone. We know you were placed in an awful situation and we appreciate your ability to respond professionally.”