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Jet Blue meltdown pilot has detention hearing waived

By Steve Olafson

(Reuters) - A JetBlue pilot who apparently suffered a midair mental meltdown last month and was charged with interfering with a commercial flight will not have to face a court hearing on Monday, a magistrate judge ruled on Friday.

Clayton Osbon, 49, has been in custody since March 27 when he was subdued by passengers after screaming and pounding on the cockpit door during a flight from New York to Las Vegas.

The co-pilot of Flight 191 was forced to make an emergency landing in Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle.

Osbon, who faces felony charges, is being kept in an undisclosed location for psychiatric testing.

U.S. Magistrate Clinton E Averitte agreed to waive a detention hearing and preliminary examination that had been scheduled for Monday in Amarillo.

The waiver was sought by Osbon's attorney, E. Dean Roper, who did not give a reason for the action.

Osbon's wife has said in a statement released by JetBlue that while her husband was "clearly distressed, he was not intentionally violent toward anybody."

(Reporting by Steve Olafson; editing by Greg McCune and Todd Eastham)

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