JetBlue pilot's case in Texas court

(CBS NEWS) Clayton Osbon made his first appearance in federal court in Amarillo, Texas Monday morning.

The JetBlue pilot who had a mid-air meltdown last Tuesday was facing federal charges of interfering with his own flight crew -- the one on a flight that was headed from New York to Las Vegas before making an emergency landing in Amarillo.

Osbon had been in a hospital in Amarillo.

Newly-released, enhanced video shows Osbon being restrained on JetBlue flight 191.

And now, we've heard from his wife, Connye, who released a statement thanking those involved and asking for privacy.

"We would like to recognize the crew and passengers of Flight 191 for their effective, yet compassionate handling of the situation," the statement says. "It is our belief, as Clayton's family that, while he was clearly distressed, he was not intentionally violent toward anyone."

That last part of the statement could be a key distinction in the case against him.

If the case ever goes to trial, prosecutors will have to prove not only that Osbon interfered with the flight crew, but that he had the mental capacity to understand what he was doing, and that it was wrong.

"Over this three-and-a-half hour period before the first officer was clever enough to get him off the flight deck," observes CBS News CBS News Aviation and Transportation Safety Analyst and former National Transportation Safety Board head Mark Rosenker, "these are some very frightening words, descriptions, actions that were, frankly, quite scary to me when I read them."

Lawyers will also be looking at whether Osbon's condition was medical, or if it may have been brought on by a substance he did not disclose to regulators.

"The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)," says Rosenker, "has a very stringent list of medications - drugs that they are allowed to take while they are actually on flying status."

Questions about Osbon's mental state will be directed primarily to his doctors.

Lawyers will also be drawing on recordings from the plane's black boxes. The NTSB has completed its work on tapes from the cockpit and plans to work on flight data information this week.

To see Michelle Miller's report, which was filed before Osbon and his lawyer arrived in court, click on the video in the player above,

  • Michelle Miller

    Michelle Miller is an award-winning CBS News correspondent based in New York, reporting for all CBS News broadcasts and platforms. Her work regularly appears on the "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley", "CBS This Morning" and "CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood". She joined CBS News in 2004.

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