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Pilot Passes Out During Flight, Co-Pilot Safely Lands Aircraft

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By Myles Collier, Christian Post Contributor
February 1, 2013|3:26 pm

An airplane en route to Seattle had to make an emergency landing after one of the plane's pilots lost consciousness.

The Alaska Airlines flight landed safely in Oregon after declaring an emergency when the pilot passed out while in the passenger cabin.

Alaskan Airlines spokesman, Paul McElroy, revealed that members of the flight crew and other passengers were able to revive the incapacitated pilot. Meanwhile the co-pilot manned the controls and was able to navigate the aircraft safely until it landed.

"Doctors suspect he became ill due to food-poisoning or the flu virus," McElroy revealed of the 28-year veteran, adding no other injuries were reported. "That first officer was infected with the flu. We know that for sure."

After emergency responders arrived at the scene, they were able to safely remove the pilot and transport him to a local hospital, according to KUTV.

This was the second time a pilot passed out during an Alaskan Airlines flight in the last two weeks. On Jan. 22, an Alaska Airlines co-pilot became unconscious during a flight from Seattle to Las Vegas which forced the captain of the aircraft to make an emergency landing.

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"It's very rare that we have a pilot pass out, lose consciousness or have a physical impairment in the cockpit, but when it does that's the reason why we have two people up there very well trained," John Nance, former Alaska Airlines pilot an aviation analyst, told ABC during an interview.

Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman, revealed that investigators had not considered the two separate incidents to be connected.

"Your very first job as a co-pilot, if the captain should keel over, in this instance is to fly the airplane. That's the number one. Try to revive him and figure out what's going on if you can," Nance said.

 

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