Off-duty pilots help land plane as Southwest Airlines pilot hits mid-flight emergency

The plane returned safely to Las Vegas.

An off-duty pilot took action Wednesday after a Southwest Airlines pilot suffered a medical emergency in flight, an airline official said.

Southwest Airlines Flight 6013 had just taken off for a flight between Las Vegas and Columbus, Ohio, when the pilot suffered a medical emergency around 6:33 a.m., according to a Southwest Airlines statement. . A flight attendant reported that the captain passed out with stomach pains, air traffic control radio said.

According to Southwest, an off-duty pilot from another airline who was traveling as a passenger entered the flight deck and radioed to help the crew as they turned and returned to Las Vegas.

“He is currently in the rear of the aircraft with a flight attendant, but we need to get him into an ambulance immediately,” an unidentified pilot in the cockpit told air traffic controllers.

The airline said the plane returned to Las Vegas, where emergency medical staff tended to the captain.

“We are extremely grateful for their support and assistance,” Southwest said of the off-duty pilots in a statement.

Southwest’s pilot status was not immediately revealed. A replacement crew member was called in and the passengers arrived at their destinations later in the day, Southwest said.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement: “We commend the crew for their professionalism and thank our customers for their patience and understanding of the situation.

The FAA said it was investigating the incident.

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