It’s a scene straight out of an OTT thriller. A mid-air flight, a pilot who suddenly falls ill and an emergency announcement by panicked crew. What happened next can best be described as a picture-perfect ending! Except that all this is not part of some new thriller but a real-life incident that took place in the US recently.
According to a report by CNN, captain of the Southwest Airlines flight 0613 suddenly fell ill. It took off from Las Vegas and was on its way to Columbus located in Ohio. There were two pilots in the cockpit at that time. Though the airline has still not elaborated as to what was the exact cause of the illness, the CNN report quoting the officials say that the original pilot was ‘incapacitated’. There is a set protocol for such medical emergencies. The crew makes an announcement and ask for help in case any flyer is in condition to help out. Luckily, an off-duty pilot was travelling on the flight at that time. Without losing precious golden hour, he quickly entered the cockpit and took controls of the radio communication as the other pilot flew the plane back to Las Vegas.
Data from the LiveATC shows that the captain complained of severe stomach pain and moments later fainted. “We commend the crew for their professionalism and appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding regarding the situation,” Southwest Airlines spokesperson Chris Perry was quoted as saying by CNN. The report also said that the flight remained in air for 77 minutes without any incident. The Federal Aviation Administration says that it will probe the incident. As of now, the condition of the pilot of Southwest Airlines has not been disclosed yet.