Authorities board JetBlue Flight 191, which was headed from New...

Authorities board JetBlue Flight 191, which was headed from New York to Las Vegas, after an emergency landing at Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport in Amarillo, Texas when an unruly pilot caused the flight to be diverted. (March 27, 2012) Credit: AP

Due to his status as a flight captain and his age, 49, suspended JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon was required to take two medical examinations a year, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.WHAT EXAMS ARE The exams are necessary for pilots to maintain their medical certificates, without which they cannot fly. The exams are done by doctors who get special training by the FAA and involve not only a physical checkup but physician questions about a pilot's psychological condition.

REQUIRED QUESTIONNAIRE As part of the examination, the pilot also has to complete a written questionnaire that asks about past or current history with or diagnoses of any mental disorder, including anxiety and depression. The questionnaire also asks about alcohol dependence and suicide attempts.

THE PENALTY A failure to disclose all existing physical and psychological conditions as well as medications being taken can result in fines of as much as $250,000 if it is found that the pilot falsified information, the FAA said.

OSBON'S CASE The agency did not respond when asked when Osbon last had the required examination, but did say it does not release pilot medical information because of privacy laws.

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