Captain On Southwestern Airlines Faints, Off-Duty Pilot Travelling As Passenger Lands The Plane

by Sanjana Shenoy
Captain On Southwestern Airlines Faints, Off-Duty Pilot Travelling As Passenger Lands The Plane

There are unusual incidents that happen on flights. Some are unusually pleasant and others unusually unpleasant. Southwest Airlines recently witnessed a bit of both. The captain of the airline, flying from Las Vegas to Columbus, fell sick and fainted. What seemed to be a situation of all hope lost had a ray of hope in an off-duty pilot flying on the same. Here’s what actually happened.

Off-Duty Pilot Of Another Airline Helps Land Southwest Airlines Safely

In a report by Zawya, a Southwest Airlines flight was two hours into flying from Las Vegas to Columbus in Ohio. That’s when the captain fell extremely sick and almost lost consciousness. An off-duty pilot who worked for completely different airlines was also flying as a passenger on the same plane. The pilot instantly rushed to the cockpit and took over the radio communications.

Southwest Airlines pilot
Picture Credits: Canva

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According to a CNN report, the off-duty pilot stated on the radio communication that the unconscious captain was in the care of the flight attendants. But they needed to get the captain on an ambulance immediately. As he communicated, the other pilot on the Southwest Airlines flight handled the controls. The two pilots flew the flight back to Las Vegas as the captain needed urgent medical care.

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The duo safely landed the flight in Las Vegas. And later the flight flew to Columbus with a fresh crew. Southwest Airlines thanked the off-duty pilot profusely for his immediate help and his initiative to avoid any disaster.  The airline company released a statement where they salute the crew’s professionalism and also valued their customers’ tolerance and understanding of the circumstance.

Similar Incident Happened On Jet Airways Flight

In 2015, a similar incident occurred on a Bangkok to Delhi Jet Airways flight. The captain of the flight fell sick. That’s when another Jet Airways pilot flying as a passenger jumped in to help the co-pilot land the plane. The two pilots safely landed the plane at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, ensuring the safety of the 200 passengers on-board.

Well, this incident is certainly unusual but offers a ray of hope even in the tensest situations.

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons