JetBlue pilot taken to MGH for evaluation

Had told woman he might harm self

By Travis Andersen
Globe Staff / May 21, 2010

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A JetBlue pilot was placed in protective custody yesterday at Logan International Airport and brought to a city hospital after he told a woman he might harm himself, a law enforcement official said.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said authorities approached the pilot in a waiting area after he sent some type of “electronic communication’’ to the woman. The official could not say if the pilot was about to board or fly a plane. The incident occurred at midafternoon, the official said.

The pilot was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital for an evaluation and was not under arrest last night, the official said.

A JetBlue spokesman dismissed news reports that the pilot had threatened to crash the plane as “vicious rumor and speculation.’’

“A JetBlue pilot was removed from duty today in Boston for health-related reasons,’’ the airline said in a statement. “At no point were any customers or aircraft in danger.

“We are working closely with Boston authorities to ensure our crew member receives appropriate medical attention,’’ the airline’s statement said. “We will not provide additional details, as it is our policy to not publicly discuss personal information about our crew members out of respect for their privacy.’’

A State Police spokesman referred questions to the federal Transportation Security Administration.

A federal government official familiar with the matter said in an e-mail: “TSA law enforcement personnel in coordination with Massachusetts State Police were called to interview a pilot who indicated that he was unfit for duty. During the interview, the pilot voluntarily agreed to depart the airport and seek appropriate care.’’

Inside the JetBlue terminal at Logan last night, a JetBlue employee said he saw a large State Police presence earlier but did not know what had occurred.

Globe correspondent Stewart Bishop contributed to this report. Material from the Associated Press was also used. Travis Andersen can be reached at

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