updated 7/30/2007 7:41:04 PM ET 2007-07-30T23:41:04

A Tennessee doctor accused of calling in a bomb threat because he missed his plane at Seattle-Tacoma International airport last week has been released from federal custody pending trial ... provided he doesn't fly home.

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U.S. Magistrate Judge Monica Benton approved the release of 31-year-old Dr. Kou Wei Chiu.

Chiu's release came five days after he allegedly called 911 three times from a payphone at the airport.

Charging papers say Chiu was upset that he had arrived too late to board a Northwest Airlines flight to Memphis, and he told the operator on Wednesday that there was a bomb on board. The plane turned around in flight and returned to Seattle for inspection.

Chiu has been charged with making a false threat against an aircraft. He was released to the custody of his mother and sister on the conditions that he undergo a mental health evaluation, turn over his passport and agrees to return to Tennessee by private or rented car.

Charging papers say Chiu told investigators that he had been off his antidepressant medication in the days before the bomb-threat phone calls, and that he had never done anything like it before.

Northwest estimates that it lost $70,000 in fuel, gate fees and other expenses.

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