Off-Duty Pilot Steps Up When Pilot Falls Ill Mid-Flight

During the emergency, the credentialed pilot from another airline assisted with radios while the remaining Southwest crewmember flew the aircraft.

An off-duty pilot stepped into the cockpit to assist a Southwest Airlines crew when one of the pilots had a medical emergency mid-flight.

The incident happened aboard Southwest Airlines flight 6013 Wednesday morning around 8 a.m.

According to the FAA, flight 6013 was enroute from Harry Reid International Airport (KLAS) in Las Vegas, Nevada to John Glenn Columbus International Airport (KCMH) in Columbus, Ohio when one of the pilots became ill.

The stricken pilot was removed from the cockpit, and what Southwest describes as a “credentialed pilot” from another airline stepped in to assist with radios while the remaining Southwest crewmember flew the aircraft back to Las Vegas.

According to Southwest, “The flight landed safely, and an alternate flight crew operated the flight to CMH. We commend the crew for their professionalism and appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding regarding the situation.” indicates the aircraft had been in the air for about an hour when it turned around and headed back to Las Vegas.

The nature of the medical emergency was not disclosed.

The FAA is investigating the incident.


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