The pilot of Southwest Airlines became ill during the flight: one of the passengers was able to land the plane
An off-duty pilot who was a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight helped land the plane after the captain became ill during the flight, the fifth incident in the past three weeks of pilot problems. The edition told in more detail Daily Mail.
The pilot, who was a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight, stepped in to help land the plane after one of the pilots suddenly felt unwell.
Flight 6013 was en route to Columbus, Ohio from Las Vegas, Nevada on March 22 when an emergency occurred mid-flight.
The co-pilot urgently needed medical attention, and only one pilot could fly the aircraft.
But, fortunately, there was a pilot from another airline on board, who was ready to intervene at any moment.
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This incident followed a string of reports of airmen falling ill while flying. Aviation observers say this is the fifth such incident in just three weeks.
A pilot arrived to help with radio communications, while another Southwest pilot took control of the aircraft and landed it safely back in Las Vegas, where a replacement flight crew was flown.
“A licensed pilot from another airline who was on board entered the cockpit and assisted with radio communications while our Southwest Airlines pilot flew the aircraft,” a spokesman for Southwest Airlines said. “We really appreciate his support and help.”
A nurse who was a passenger on the flight also stepped in to help the ailing pilot. His current condition is unknown.
The plane was in the air for one hour and six minutes. It turned back to Las Vegas about 26 minutes after takeoff.
"The aircraft landed safely and the flight to Columbus was operated by a reserve crew," the airline said in a statement. “We thank the crew for their professionalism and appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers regarding the situation.”
The Federal Aviation Administration said it was investigating the incident in accordance with established procedures.
This is the latest in a string of accidents in recent weeks in which several pilots on duty became ill and were unable to fly.
Earlier this month, a transatlantic flight from Milan to New York was forced to return after the pilot became ill 30 minutes into the flight. Similarly, a United Airlines flight from Guatemala to Chicago had to be diverted due to the pilot having chest pains.
Pilot Josh Yoder, who has a large following on Twitter, said that along with the latest incident at Southwest Airlines, a fifth pilot became ill in the air just this month.
He tweeted: “This is the fifth pilot incapacitation in recent weeks that I know of. I will post more details as soon as it becomes available."
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The US Department of Transportation issued a safety alert to aircraft operators, noting that "several recent events demonstrate the need for continued vigilance and attention to reducing safety risks."
“Although the overall figures do not reflect an increase in the number of incidents and incidents, the potential severity of these events is a concern,” the department stressed.
This year alone, there have been six serious runway intrusions in the past three months.
Southwest Airlines said they were close to closing the runway after an ambulance crossed it in Baltimore. In yet another dangerous situation, FedEx and Southwest Airlines planes were reported to be within 100 feet (30 m) of each other.
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