Southwest pilot suffers medical emergency on flight, off-duty pilot helps land plane

On Wednesday, a Southwest Airlines flight was saved by a quick-thinking off-duty pilot when the aircraft’s captain suffered a medical emergency mid-flight.

The incident occurred during Southwest Flight 6013’s journey from Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio, at approximately 6:33 a.m. The airline reported that the captain experienced stomach pain and fainted, as confirmed by air traffic control radio.

In response, an off-duty pilot from another airline, who happened to be a passenger on the same flight, sprang into action. They entered the cockpit and assisted the crew in making radio calls as the plane made an abrupt turn and returned to Las Vegas, according to Southwest Airlines.

“He is in the back of the aircraft right now with the flight attendants. But we need to get him on an ambulance immediately,” an unidentified pilot in the cockpit told air traffic controllers, according to air traffic audio, as reported by ABC News.

According to the airline, the captain received medical attention from emergency health crews after the plane landed safely back in Las Vegas.

Southwest did not immediately disclose the condition of the affected pilot. However, the airline called in an alternate flight crew, and the passengers were able to reach their destination later in the day.

Written by staff