A qualified pilot of another airline, while on board as a passenger, intervened to help a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas land. This happened after the captain became ill immediately after departure.
The incident, which could have ended tragically, occurred on Wednesday morning, March 22. Southwest Airlines flight WN6013 took off from Harry Reid International Airport at about 06:40, bound for Columbus, Ohio. However, the Boeing 737 was forced to turn back shortly after takeoff when the captain became incapacitated.
According to the airline’s representative, the aircraft commander was removed from control because he needed medical attention, although the airline did not specify what exactly happened to the pilot.
News agencies reported: air traffic control radio recordings indicate that before departure, the captain began to experience abdominal pain and became incapacitated five minutes after takeoff.
The captain was taken out of the cockpit so that the flight attendants would provide him with medical assistance. This fact came to the attention of a passenger who turned out to be a pilot of another airline. He offered his help.
Before the passenger who called himself a professional was allowed to enter the cabin, his credentials were checked. As a result, he landed the plane at the Las Vegas airport.