Trouble in the skies?

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

March 27, 2012 1:31:12 PM PDT
"Going Postal" was once the fear, after a rash over the years - and many years ago - of post office workers violently taking out their anger at their workplace.

Now we might have to contend with "Going Airborne."

For the second time this month, a member of a flight crew freaked out and according to passengers started screaming about terrorism, and the plane going down, and Al Qaeda.

This time it was the pilot of a Jet Blue flight from JFK in New York to Las Vegas. It was the co-pilot who took control, booting the captain from the cockpit. And it was an off-duty New York cop and an off-duty Jet Blue pilot who helped subdue the pilot.

So what in the friendly skies is going on? All of us have wondered how the flight crews reacted to the Sept. 11 attacks, and I've talked to flight crews about the fears they sparked. But now, 10+ years after the hijackings by Al Qaeda, two freak outs this month?

Maybe they're not connected, maybe it's just a big coincidence. Let's hope.

But it's happened. And there are more than a few people connecting the dots.

I'm just sayin'.

We'll have the latest on the captain's meltdown - and it's not hard to imagine a worst-case scenario - including reaction from passengers who took off from our area, tonight at 11.

One more note on this subject: There is no psychiatric screening of pilots in this country, just a physical screening.

We'll also have the latest from the rape trial of New York cop Michael Pena. Today he was found guilty on six of 10 counts. The jury was deadlocked on counts of rape, finding him guilty of sex assault in a case that shocked the city. Pena attacked a woman in the courtyard of an apartment in Upper Manhattan, after he grabbed her off the street. He was accused of raping her at gunpoint. Pena's lawyer acknowledged Pena attacked the woman, but insisted he never had intercourse with her.

Jury deliberations were reportedly contentious.

Also at 11, we'll have the latest from the campaign trail, where Rick Santorum seems to be teetering from fatigue and contradictory talking points. He used the B.S. word yesterday to a New York Times reporter after he was asked why he called Mitt Romney "the worst Republican in the country" to challenge Pres. Obama in the November election. But today he was asked if he would agree to become Romney's VEEP running mate - and he said, "of course."

Go figure.

We're also taking a closer look at student loans - and how students can avoid going too much into hock to pay for their higher education. Consumer Reports has a fascinating look, at 11.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Laura Behnke (in for Rob Powers) with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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