LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- “Sit back -- relax -- and enjoy the flight" takes on a whole new meaning for the passengers of that JetBlue flight who watched their captain go berserk earlier this week.
News 3’s Mackenzie Warren linked up with one of those Flight 191 passengers at McCarran today as he headed back to New York.
The first time we met Jason Levin he was fresh off a flight from hell. Friday, Levin along with many of his fellow JetBlue Flight 191 passengers, now bound by this unique experience, are heading home.
“You never could think that could happen these days post 9/11 and here it happened with the captain of the plane,” Levin recounts the bizarre flight Tuesday.
“Personally, I was seat number one, so it happened right in front of me,” Levin says.
Today, as he leaves Las Vegas, Levin is much calmer. With his bag tag as proof he lived to tell the story. This time, Levin’s taking JetBlue Flight 194 and still sitting in row one. It’s a tinge of irony Levin dismisses. “What are you going to do? Not fly anymore? You have to move on. You just hope it doesn’t happen again, but be ready.”
Levin was one of six men who tackled and held JetBlue Captain Clayton Osbon down for more than 20 minutes, until the co-pilot could make an emergency landing in Amarillo. Levin won't take full-credit. “Everyone banded together and did what we had to do. It was the co-pilot who had the first instinct to get him out of the cockpit,” he says. JetBlue is also filled with gratitude.
“The JetBlue CEO contacted me the very next day making sure everything was OK,” Levin says.
Today at McCarran the airline was ready to give Flight 191 passengers a special send-off and at the ticket counter the agent read Levin a special manifest as thanks. At the end of his six-hour flight, Levin's wife and 7-year-old twins Jacob and Jamie will be waiting. The whole ordeal has worried his little girl.
“She asked me what happened and why did the pilot do what he did and what was he trying to do?” he recalls. Those are the central questions of the FBI and FAA investigations and while the real answers will come with time, for now the simple one will do.
“And I had to tell her in the daddy type of way that he was OK—daddy did whatever he had to do make everyone safe,” he said.