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Pilot Meltdown Results In Emergency Landing

dateline: 03 April 2012

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • meltdown: a sudden inability to cope with a situation
  • agitated: emotionally disturbed
  • flick: to touch suddenly
  • intercom: an internal communication system
  • restrain: to hold down and prevent movement

Pilot Meltdown Results In Emergency Landing

The of a JetBlue Airways flight was forced to make an emergency landing last week when the captain had a mid-flight meltdown. The flight was headed from New York to when the agitated pilot, Clayton Osbon, began acting strangely and flicking switches in the cockpit. The quick-thinking co-pilot tricked Osbon into going into the cabin, and then the pilot out. The co-pilot then used the intercom to ask people in the cabin to restrain the pilot. In the cabin, the pilot began screaming about religion, al-Qaeda and bombs as he tried to his way back into the cockpit. Passengers restrained the disturbed pilot with belts as the co-pilot made an emergency landing in Texas.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Who had a meltdown?
  2. How did the passengers restrain Clayton Osbon?
  3. Why does the report mention Texas?

Discussion Question: New reports suggest that this pilot likely suffered a panic attack. What makes the airline industry a high stress workplace?

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Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.

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