Off-Duty Pilot from Another Airline Helps Land Southwest Plane After Captain Has Medical Emergency
An air traffic control recording from the incident includes someone in the flight deck stating that the pilot needed to get "on an ambulance immediately"
An off-duty pilot came to the rescue after the captain of a Southwest plane suffered a medical emergency on Wednesday
The original pilot of flight 6013, heading to Columbus, Ohio from Las Vegas, "needed medical attention" mid-flight, Southwest Airlines confirmed in a statement to PEOPLE.
On a radio traffic recording of the flight uploaded to air traffic website LiveATC, and first reported on by CNN, a person can be heard saying the flight captain had experienced stomach pain and then "became incapacitated while en route."
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The person in the recording went on to say that the pilot was being taken care of at the back of the plane by a flight attendant and noted that the pilot needed to get "on an ambulance immediately."
A representative for Southwest did not specify what the medical emergency was or the pilot's status.
Luckily, "a credentialed pilot from another airline" who happened to be on the plane was able to enter the flight deck and assist with the landing. Southwest did not disclose the identity or employer of the pilot who stepped in.
"We commend the crew for their professionalism and appreciate our customers' patience and understanding regarding the situation," the airline said in a statement.
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According to the flight tracking site FlightAware.com, the plane had been in the air for about an hour and 17 minutes, before rerouting back to Las Vegas to land. The airline told PEOPLE that an alternate flight crew took over and made sure that the flight made it to its rightful destination.
The incident is currently under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.
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Read the original article on People.