The Captain Clayton Osbon Story

The Captain Clayton Osbon Story


 In command of JBU Flight 191


As part of the start-up team for New Air (which became JetBlue Airways), I had input on the early hiring, some of the operational procedures, training, and pilot check-rides.  I was JetBlue’s senior line pilot, check airman, and the first FAA APD (Aircrew Program Designee).  I had the honor of rating many of JetBlue’s first captains. Forced from line flying, due to the FAA’s onerous Age 60 Rule, shortly after the 9/11 tragedy, I retired from line flying and became the senior Test Pilot. In this capacity I delivered many of the new Airbus aircraft from Europe to the US.  My JetBlue experience remains a wonderful part of my aviation memories.  I was with JetBlue, when my professional career ended at the ripe young age of sixty-five, I flew into the sunset some call “retirement.”  My “Livin’ the Dream” ended on the first of October, 2006.

During my more than four decades in the airline industry, I met and worked with many of aviation’s finest. As with any industry there will always be a few turkeys.  Yet, most of the folks I worked with were superb. This is a story about one of the sharpest JetBlue pilots I’ve known.   His story needs tellin’!

This particular JetBlue pilot achieved national prominence.  However, his “fifteen minutes of fame” is something he’d gladly forego.  There is little doubt he would have preferred going on with his career doing what he loved.  He was very good at it.

When I learned of the horrific event where a JetBlue captain had literally gone berserk while flying as the command pilot of Flight 191, I was absolutely stunned.  Then, discovering who the captain was, I was in utter disbelief.  No way!

What the news portrayed was 180º of the stalwart character, professional captain, and check airman I knew. My quest to learn what really occurred began.

Years before, I had flown with this particular newly minted captain. My impression was, “we need this guy as part of our Check Airmen cadre.”  Fewer than a handful of pilots that I worked with at JetBlue made me comfortable enough to recommend them for check airman duties.  This pilot was one of those I recognized possessing the knowledge, skill, and personal demeanor necessary.  I formally recommended Captain Clayton Osbon to be elevated to Check Airman status at JetBlue Airways.  And he was.


Clayton Osbon’s story is fascinating.   If you look past the pain Clayton and his wife and soulmate, Connye, went through for so long following JetBlue Flight 191, and if you look at how wrong so many ‘experts’ were, you will, as did I, discover what incredibly fine people Clayton and Connye really are.

Osbon’s story is not only fascinating, it’s tragic!  But, not to Clayton himself!  He sees things as, “it is what it is!” Moreover, Osbon taking it past the “it is what it is” and says, “it will be what I make it!”

Clayton Frederick Osbon was born January 17, 1963 in Milwaukee.  His parents were educated professionals. His father, R.O. “Ozzie” Osbon, was an electrical engineer.  His mother, Diane Keck Osbon, was a fine arts major.  They also farmed in Wisconsin with Clayton involved in farming life as a youngster.

Clayton was competitive in the Equestrian ‘A’ circuit riding since his early youth.  His riding was not without mishap, with his having fallen off a horse at age six and suffering a head injury.  Otherwise, his formative years were filled with healthy doses of an inquisitive and gregarious nature.  Physically he was healthy albeit hyper. Still, he was slightly above average as a student.  In some areas Clayton was deemed an excellent student.

Full of wonder, Clayton was intrigued by God and the Universe, the mechanics of things, and the moon. He had an abiding desire to know how airplanes could fly.  He felt a need to ferret out how he should act around adults and classmates, with him growing up an only child. He wanted to fit in.  And, he wanted to know how he would fill the shoes of his father and grandfather.   All in all, Clayton was a normal kid growing up in rural America.

Both his father and grandfather had graduated from Purdue University as electrical engineers and were successful in their own business. His grandfather, Oran Osbon, was awarded seventeen patents as the chief engineer with Westinghouse.  Clayton saw his future a huge challenge to “measure up.”

Early on, Clayton aspired to become an astronaut, an F-14 “Tomcat” pilot, and a physics/electrical engineer inventing and/or researching in the laboratory like his grandfather.

Osbon would go on to receive a bachelor of science degree in Aeronautical Physics.  He attended both Nathaniel Hawthorne College (NHC) and Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).  He favored CMU over Purdue as the former had a higher ranking in the Humanities and Sciences programs at that time.

Osbon chose NHC over Embry-Riddle and Purdue for his flight training.  He felt, rightly so, that the flight conditions at NHC, being in New Hampshire, would be much more challenging with the terrain and weather.  Additionally, NHC employed a higher number of retired airline pilots whose experience would be of immense benefit.

Before Osbon interviewed with JetBlue Airways in March of 2000, he, like most of his peers, earned the necessary ratings and built time to qualify.   He earned his Airline Transport Pilot Certificate from Martha Lunkin of the FAA, who type rated Osbon in Sporty’s Pilot Shop’s Cessna C-550 ‘Citation’ at the Lunkin Airport in Cincinnati.

At Sporty’s, the most memorable achievement for Osbon was flying as a video production pilot on the team. They were producing the Private, Instrument, and Commercial flight training series.
Heading up the team was Richard L. Collins of Flying Magazine fame. He was editor and author for both AOPA & Flying magazines. Osbon worked for him, and they became friends. Osbon became Collins’ point guard and wing man on formation flights as they filmed Collins flying his P210. Osbon remembers Collins as a great friend and mentor. Osbon still has the condolence letter from when his father died in a plane crash.
At JetBlue, Osbon was selected by the chief pilot & other leaders to help in their think tank and develop the Captain Leadership Program called ‘The Leading Edge’ & ‘The Lift’.  Osbon recalls that it was a rewarding experience.
The flight attendants had their own program modeled somewhat after the team’s program. It was beautiful actually. Ironically, the debut class of Captain’s Leadership was on the date of Osbon’s episodic event which captivated the world’s attention for at least a week.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself telling Osbon’s story…
Osbon flew another Citation, the C-550 for Executive Jet (now NetJets) briefly in the US before heading to NetJets Europe to be in the initial cadre of 5 pilots to start that program out of Lisbon. There, he was teaching Portuguese pilots the aircraft as well as how to handle American passengers in the fractional industry from a customer service delivery standpoint.
He almost became an expat there with dual citizenship.  However, Osbon received a job offer to move back to the continental U.S. (CONUS) and fly G-IVs from Savannah for NetJets International.
By that time, he had acquired over one thousand hours as PIC (pilot-in-command) flying the 75,000 pound gross take-off weight (GTW) Grumman G-IV.  He now had the minimum requirements to get noticed and possibly be hired by JetBlue Airways.
Initially, Osbon interviewed with JetBlue’s chief pilot and representatives then was subsequently hired.  A year or so later he was interviewed by the Director of Flight Standards, Brian Coulter, who offered Osbon a Flight Standards check airman position with JetBlue.
Osbon began classroom work with Airbus instructors, first cadre captains, and the legendary Usto Schulz. During this time in JetBlue’s budding history, the training was done in Miami with Airbus, the manufacturer of the aircraft JetBlue operated. Type Rating training was with Airbus instructors.  Osbon’s oral exam was administered by an FAA fellow who, ostensibly, held a doctorate in Physics.  Osbon remembered it as an enjoyable session likely due to himself having a degree in Aeronautical Physics. His A-320 type rating practical exam was observed by an FAA inspector, as the Aircrew Program Designee (APD) administered the rating ride.  High marks were achieved throughout.
The first seven JetBlue pilot classes type rated all pilots as captains.  This was part of their initial training. It was during Osbon’s initial operating experience (I.O.E.) line flying, when I became acquainted with him.  I was impressed.
Osbon would experience many memorable moments flying for JetBlue.   He recalls feeling very fortunate to fly the inaugural flight to Long Beach (LGB) & back to JFK.  CEO and founder, David Neeleman, flew out; President, Dave Barger was on board for the return flight.
Charlie Andrews rode the jump-seat.  Captain Osbon recommend Andrews be hired, as he was Osbon’s best friend. Andrews enjoyed a rapid rise with JetBlue Airways, becoming chief pilot of the Long Beach pilot base.
Another memorable inaugural flight for Osbon was JFK to LAX. The fire trucks hosed him down on both of these flights with a soapy water solution which could have been toxic to the paint and engines.  No problem though after a quick rinse.  JetBlue has a top-flight maintenance program.

Even after all that befell Osbon following Flight 191, he maintains a very positive attitude drawing on a strong religious faith, love of family, and the inspirations from those he is closest.  Even though he has been much maligned by others, who should know better, Osbon knows that it was a Complex-Partial Brain Seizure Event that was the cause behind the federal indictment of “Interference with Flight Crew.” He was found “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.”

There are evil-doers in Clayton’s story.  Certain individuals within the United States Government, faceless bureaucrats, historically rush to judgement sans facts.  I’m reminded of the two FAA inspectors who made life miserable for one of the greatest of all time aviators, RA “Bob” Hoover.  In my view, it was horrible abuse of power by these two nefarious FAA inspectors.

As you read on you will learn, as I did, what most of us saw pasted on the front page, and broadcast over national news, that fateful day March 27th, 2012, was, without a doubt, a travesty. Clayton had experienced a psychotic episode over the Texas skies.  However, these miscreant individuals, with no hesitation, labeled him a criminal.

Captain Osbon began the day as the command pilot on an Airbus A-320 operating as JetBlue Flight 191. There were plenty of “hints” that something was amiss with the captain.  No one picked up on the telling signs.  This resulted in Flight 191 ending badly for Captain Osbon, his crew, and his passengers.  JetBlue as a company, would suffer from considerable negative press.   Likely, Osbon’s psychotic episode wasn’t preventable.  However, where he was when it happened was totally preventable.  All the signs were there.  No one reacted, even when they noticed something was amiss.

Instantly, all fingers of blame pointed straight at Captain Osbon.  To me, it is understandable how those first responders, and even the crew, misread what had happened.  

So terribly wrong were the ‘experts.’   They have persisted in their wrongfulness. This is inexcusable.  Bureaucrats wearing blinders an all too common thing.

How can I excuse the facts that the captain of JetBlue Flight 191 became “uncorked” and ran raving down the isle of the airliner of which he was in command?  Understandably, the crew and passengers hesitated to overpower the captain of the flight.  They finally sprang into action and rendered the captain immobile.

The First Officer secured the flight deck and elected to land at Amarillo, Texas.  Captain Osbon’s horror was just beginning.  Instead of treating him as a patient, he was immediately “convicted” universally by seemingly everyone except Connye and those of us who knew the real Captain Clayton Osbon.   Osbon was treated like a radical Islamic terrorist when, in fact, he was in dire need of medical care.

Somehow, he was charged with interference with himself!  The charge read “…interference with the flight crew.”  This carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison” and a $250,000 fine if convicted. Captain Osbon was the captain of Flight 191.  Never being officially relieved of command, he was the captain even after being trussed up by his passengers and cabin crew.  From beginning to end, Captain Clayton Osbon was “officially” in command of JBU Flight 191!

I would certainly like to know what Captain Osbon’s thoughts are on those federal charges.  How is it possible that Osbon be charged with interfering with himself?  Unfortunately, I am tasked with my due diligence elsewhere regarding the event on that day.  The reason being, Osbon is prevented from discussing his situation pursuant to an agreement with his former employer, JetBlue.

From my perspective, Osbon has taken the high-road.  I have yet to hear him speak, even angrily, about the mistreatment he received from our federal government officialdom.  There just is no vitriol, no hate emanating from Osbon.  However, I sense his frustration, and who wouldn’t feel that way, given how he was mistreated and wrongly judged from the beginning.  Osbon was exhibiting crazy behavior, not criminal behavior.  He needed medical help and right away.

Happy Times with Connye & Clayton Osbon

Here’s the nifty WWII L-4 Cub Clayton had to sell.  He’s no longer able to fly.  

Here is what noted aviation pilot/author/speaker/consultant/analyst, John Nance, says:

Hang ‘Em High   (originally published in Pro-Pilot Magazine)

Written by John J. Nance in 2012 shortly after Flight 191’s Splash of Color on the national news:

The nightmare of being thrown in jail and publicly destroyed in retaliation for an honest human mistake is particularly disturbing to professional pilots, but the worry is very valid.  True, most of the contemporary examples have been overseas – including the attempt to criminally prosecute two American pilots for a 2006 midair collision with a GOL 737 over Brazil (despite the clear culpability of ATC).  But the potential for criminalization of even the most benign of pilot/aircrew mistakes is a real possibility even in the U.S., as the plight of JetBlue Captain Clayton Osbon clearly demonstrates. 

What does a rare psychotic episode in an airline cockpit have to do with the rest of us in business or private aviation?

Everything, because what we witnessed in Amarillo, Texas, is nothing less than 19th century mob justice cloaked disingenuously in the garb of reasonable prosecution.  The fact is, the target could just as easily be a corporate pilot or a private pilot – you or me – who accidentally did something that made the public upset enough to cry for blood.   

That is precisely what was at work here: the perception that Captain Osbon consciously imperiled his aircraft on March 27th and profoundly scared his crew and his passengers.  Never mind that the reason for his bizarre conduct and crazy statements were undoubtedly the result of some form of unintended mental incapacitation.

As strange as it seems, we human pilots are actually capable of falling victim to a temporary psychosis (whether caused by pharmaceuticals or psychiatries).  But in apparent ignorance of this reality, the “system” in this case hysterically responded to public and media upset by immediately concocting the oxymoronic idea that Captain Osbon’s mental meltdown was purposeful, and therefore criminal.  Once that Orwellian attitude was in place (forget the old bromide about being presumed innocent), his breakdown was met with the all the compassion and support a federal criminal indictment can provide.   

Frankly, the only real difference between the actions of the prosecutor and frontier “justice” of the old American West was the use of jail and criminal charges in place of a noose and a stout tree.  The decision to charge a crime so quickly was an embarrassingly premature and legally moronic decision.  It was the moral equivalent of a lynching.  Throwing the poor man in jail in the meantime was just mean-spirited venality.

Is this who we are as a people, so determined to inflict pain in retaliation for any professional incapacity that even a mental catastrophe is treated as voluntary before the basic facts are known?  If so, how could any of us expect more intelligent (not to mention compassionate) treatment if we were to ever commit a cockpit mistake that upset the body politic?

No, we still don’t have a clear indication of what caused Captain Osbon’s “meltdown,” but what any of us as professional airmen do understand is that the ravings and rantings coming from Osbon’s mouth that day were those of an incapacitated airman, not someone who had the mental ability at that moment to purposefully disrupt anything – including his own crew.  Even if a case like this was caused by the inappropriate or even illegal ingestion of pharmaceuticals,  charging an incapacitated man with crew interference was clearly the wrong crime.  Worse, charging the head of the flight crew with interference with the flight crew means Osbon is charged with interfering with himself, which is at best Alice-in-Wonderland logic.    

In a nutshell, this is a monumentally tawdry case of official overreaction to public and passenger upset in declaring a medical condition to be a crime.  If that made any sense, we would have to henceforth respond to any inflight pilot heart attack or serious intestinal upset with an indictment instead of an ambulance.   

Regardless of the outcome of Captain Osbon’s case, any licensed professional pilot who fails to be disturbed by this outrageous ignorance of crew incapacitation and misuse of the criminal justice system is not understanding the situation.  Mob justice simply does not belong in the 21st century under any guise, and when it exists, it raises a direct threat to us all.” 

John is an ABC Analyst, Professional Speaker, Author, and Consultant.

He’s written seventeen books so far and working on another as of this writing.  He is a two time New York Times Best Selling Author.  Captain Nance knows of what he speaks and writes.  He is a retired captain from Alaska Airlines, and flies his own Mooney for pleasure.  Nance is the ‘go to’ source for the media when there is an aviation anomaly.

I met John Nance at the Airline Pilots Dialogue in 1986 when we both spoke to a large assemblage of fellow airline pilots from around the US.  I was immediately impressed by Captain Nance’s acumen and speaking ability.   He had been with Braniff Airlines and, later, Alaskan Airlines.  Multifaceted, Nance had been a practicing attorney licensed in Texas.

The ‘Dialogue’ was hosted by the president of the Allie Pilots Association, Captain Fred Vogle.  Besides John and myself, American Airlines CEO, Bob Crandall, spoke.  Yup!   Nance had a grasp of things in 1986 and still does.

Also deemed criminally wrong in this aviation expert’s mind was the 92 yr old federal judge’s decision in Amarillo to deny Captain Osbon’s Governmental Conditional Release request without explanation. The Savannah Probation Office had filed the request on his behalf.
There are 23 conditions,18 of which are the same for convicted felons out on parole. This judge is surprisingly disappointing with her mordaciously wrong headedness.
This judge has consistently treated Captain Osbon as a criminal even after seeing the illuminating proof that there was no criminal intent, no criminal action, and, therefore, no reason to treat Osbon as a criminal.
How federal prosecutors and the judiciary can persist with their misfeasance is mystifying.  All along, they have had ample opportunity to do the right thing yet continually do the opposite.  This is shameful and disappointing. Yet Osbon refuses to condemn these miscreants of justice.  So, I will and herewith do.
Captain Osbon’s glaring restrictions: He cannot fly as a passenger on any aircraft, commercial or private, including experimental. And he cannot have access to firearms.  This means he is prevented from protecting himself and his family even in his own home.   There are all too many shameful judicial renderings in Osbon’s case.  The absenteeism of fairness is glaring.
Clayton and Connye remain hopeful that people will eventually recognize what his condition really is and begin treating him medically and not criminally.  Painfully and patiently awaiting a turn of events, Osbon spends time nurturing his fruit trees and focusing on charitable work in his community.
He is prevented from flying even light sport aircraft (aircraft that generally do not require FAA medical certification), because the FAA revoked his medical certificate when he languished in prison.  He receives solace from his loving wife and their two dogs.
Osbon should have been in a hospital facility not a prison.  My blood boils when I consider how Osbon was treated. Moreover, how he was mistreated.
Osbon hopes his story will be “out there” for people to see the injustice.  It is important to him that people have a chance to see what really went on precipitating the events on Flight 191.  It is important that history judge him fairly and accurately, something officialdom refuses to do. Any element of fairness has been absent from Osbon’s post Flight 191.
There are several topics of consideration Osbon wants to share openly and without reservation save for discussing the events of Flight 191, for which he is contractually restricted from discussing by his former employer.
One level of consideration is to educate the masses on traumatic brain injury (TBI) as well as concussive disorders. Osbon fell from a horse at a young age. This led to a combination of factors, over many years, that included lack of sleep, irregular sleep patterns, stress, etc., to the brain meltdown on Mar 27, 2012. Osbon had two more episodes during his nine months in prison, no doubt due to irregular sleep patterns and stress. Osbon was incarcerated in EIGHT different prisons over an eight-month period.  The US Marshall service kept him moving frequently.
Another important component of Osbon’s horrific experience with the justice system is his discovery of injustice of justice and the woefully inadequate handing of medical attention inside the federal prison system.
The prison psychiatrists mis-diagnosed Osbon’s problem calling it a Bipolar Disorder.  Those experts in Bipolar Disorders disagreed with the prison psychiatric doctors.  Here’s what one particular psychiatrist said in his letter dated May 13, 2014:
      Mr. Osbon has been under my care since December 7, 2012 for follow-up care after having a psychotic episode on a Jet Blue airplane in March of 2012.  His diagnosis upon referral was Bipolar Disorder.  After interviewing Mr. Osbon and reviewing his records, I had some concerns that this diagnosis may not be correct.  In fact, more than one of the previous mental health providers had documented that a first manic episode at his age was unusual.
      As Mr. Osbon continued to improve while taking less and less medication, I felt it was necessary to get a second opinion from experts in Bipolar Disorder.  I therefore, referred Mr. Osbon to the University of Miami Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Comprehensive Diagnostic and Treatment Evaluation Program headed by Charles Nemeroff, M.D.  The team’s diagnosis was Complex Partial Seizures.  Therefore, Mr. Osbon does not have a psychiatric illness and if fact has a seizure disorder that lead to symptoms that mimic mania and psychosis.
      Given that Mr. Osbon had a neurological disorder and does not have a psychiatric disorder, I have transferred his card to a neurologist, Dr. Schere.
      I do not believe Mr. Osbon is a threat to himself or others, as his unusual behavior in March 2012 was related to a seizure, and he is now being treated with a medication to prevent seizures.  Without seizures, he should not have any further unusual behavior.  Given the above information, I support Mr. Osbon’s request to be allowed to fly as a passenger on commercial airplanes.

Dr. Kevin Winders, M.D.                                                                   Director Savannah Psychiatry

To see the University of Miami’s eight page study on Captain Clayton Osbon. Click on the link below:
The University of Miami’s Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences is ranked #1 in this specialty. They had a detailed synopsis of the event, and after a week’s worth of prodding with a stick and drilling down found it to be one of their most prominent, intriguing, and fun cases to work on. The report concluded unanimously among 8 Doctors, and 6 interns, that it was a result of a Complex-Partial Seizure.
Following Osbon’s 2nd episode, the “quack” prison psychiatrist, where Osbon was incarcerated, (as quoted by two of the University of Miami’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences doctors) labeled Osbon as having mental disorder bi-polar I.  WHAT!
The University of Miami’s report, in conclusion of their eight page report, overturns this bogus diagnosis. For the 1st request to the judge, Osbon’s attorney sent all reports from family doctors and the leading Savannah psychiatrist to this medically handicapped judge as well.  She, the judge, has apparently decided to conduct her own medical analysis.  Absurd!
The facts show that Osbon is no longer posing a threat to the traveling public, as this was concluded to be a medical NOT a mental disorder, physiological in nature.  Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, somehow the judge’s conclusion in her 1st denial stated, “Clayton Osbon will always have a mental disorder.” The judge is, herself, making medical conclusions and she is NOT a doctor.  Perhaps she did, at some point, stay at a Holiday Inn Express.
Osbon has found it necessary to redefine himself after his life changing event, a real game changer.  In this process,  he learned to cope and now wants to help those incarcerated how to cope in prison life. A  man of faith and strong moral values, Osbon is considering possible prison ministries.
Even with all he’s been thru, Osbon, feels very blessed.  He says, “God has it all under control. I never lost faith through it all, was never fearful; in fact, I was made all the stronger for it.”  In my view Osbon is the champion of that eight-letter word “attitude!”  He will also tell you, “I have never thought of myself as a victim.”
Eventually Captain Osbon hopes to become involved in a “think tank” atmosphere relative to understanding the brain, our most important organ, and the least understood.  From his firsthand experience, he hopes to promote enlightenment and education of the behavioral patterns before, during, and after a psychotic break.  Within this area, Osbon would include manifested thoughts and feelings during an episode.  He says, “…not all parts of a psychotic break are forgotten; some very fluid details can be recalled depending on the type of seizure that occurred.”
Osbon envisions a book or movie to achieve his goal of informing the public of this unusual human experience.  He would delve into the use of time while a person is jailed or imprisoned.  He sees that experience in a variety of ways.  Times were fondly recalled and even comically remembered.  All the way through this unimaginable experience, Osbon framed it as a learning time of educational and personal growth.  In his mind, it was a reflective experience.
To add, as an industry professional, primarily having been Pilot/Flight Instructor/Evaluator & Facilitator, Osbon felt challenged by finding and administering a better ‘customer service’ experience for his First Officers, Flight Attendants, those he trained, evaluated, and for all he had interacted with who were depending upon Osbon for answers either in the cockpit or the classroom. How does one listen effectively, and ultimately act while employing ‘servant leadershipFollowing interaction with people or even animal species, it’s important that they feel not only validated but also uplifted and inspired.
It has been Osbon’s goal,  “that to fruition after an interaction is not to be surmised as being an altercation by either party and that both parties gain insight from the interaction.  Furthermore, that both parties are inspired and uplifted by a mutual respect, which is either fostered and/or furthered by the interaction.”
The triggers for Osbon’s complex-partial seizures, as determined by the University of Miami’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, are in combination of but not necessarily limited to lack of sleep, stress, overly stimulated brain function and too much caffeine. Many of these were transpiring leading up to each of the 3 events which ultimately concluded with Osbon’s psychotic episodes. 
Prior to the first episode, the combination could have been exacerbated by the ingestion of a daily dietary supplement routine. Some of the products constituents convert themselves to caffeine. Having been misdiagnosed with mental disorder bipolar, while Osbon was in prison, after the second episode, it was the University of Miami’s team that corrected the diagnoses to one of a neurological disorder, complex-partial seizures one year after release from Federal custody. This university team led by Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff is arguably the best psychiatric and behavioral sciences diagnosticians in America, possibly the world.  After one week of being prodded and poked by the chairman, his team of MDs, PhDs, and interns and their study of all the evidence presented, the conclusion was unequivocally unanimous. Each team member had their own 3 ring binder of medical records, scholastic and professional tenure reports dated back in some cases to childhood. The entire team studied this binder before Osbon’s arrival and referred to it during testing and interviews. This also included the medical records from the ambulance to the hospital in Amarillo through those health records collected while in the federal prison system. Among these was the forensic study conducted by the Federal Government to determine sanity to stand trial, insanity at the time of the alleged offense, and overall character and intelligence assessment.
Once again the faceless bureaucrats strike again.  Fairness, and honesty, and validity be damned!   People who should be embarrassed and ashamed by their actions simply shrug their shoulders and waddle off with impunity.  Left holding the bag are Clayton and Connye…

Captain Billy Walker, JetBlue Airways, Ret.


  1. Captain Walker,

    My name is Lee Grider. I was with Clayton the weekend before his flight 190. He did exhibit control issues and a bit overly energetic behavior in Retrospect. We had just attended a body by-Vi event, mlm diet supplements. Clayton was my up-line and Friend. I think the diet supplement had a great impact on him.

    My friend was treated very badly! I think he was beaten and abused while he was in jail. The justice system failed him gravely.

    Thank you for writing this story and you are welcome to contact me in the future.


    1. Thank YOU for taking the time to comment on our friend OZ! I still marvel at his ability to shrug off the horrible mistreatment and malfeasance he suffered through. Clayton and Connye’s story should be expanded to book-size. I’m hopefulJohn Nance will undertake that challenge…

  2. Hello, thank You for sharing the details, and the proper context, of this story.

    My name is Asad Nihal. i was a friend of Clayton Osbon at Hawthorne College when he was getting his pilot Certification. I was a business major but we spent time together socially and playing sports. I remember him as an earnest gentle giant from the midwest who would never harm anyone.

    Unfortunately, i lost Touch with him and other friends at Hawthorne after i returned from USA. But i will always cherish the time spent in Clayton’s company and wish him all the very best in his future.

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