A Southwest Airlines flight had an unusual change of pilots on board after a captain fell ill after takeoff.
The case was reported on Wednesday (22), on a Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas, in the US state of Nevada, to Columbus, Ohio. Minutes after takeoff, with the aircraft already flying over the state of Utah, the captain became ill and became incapacitated.
The captain’s medical details were not disclosed, but the term aviation disabled means that the aviator, for whatever reason, is no longer able to operate the aircraft safely for medical reasons.
Faced with the situation, the copilot asked for help from the crew, who removed the captain from his seat and assisted him. Coincidentally, there was another pilot on board, from another airline, traveling by car, and this one went to assist the Southwest co-pilot.
The information was initially released by the pilot of American Airlines, Josh Yoder, part of the US Freedom Flyers group, which fights for medical freedom in aviation. Soon after, Southwest, through its spokesperson Chris Perry, confirmed to the View From The Wing that flight WN-6013 had a problem with its captain.
As informed by the company and as stated in the flight history, the Boeing 737-700 returned to Las Vegas, landing 1h30 after takeoff. The crew was replaced and the flight continued to Columbus around 4 hours after the first departure.
The company also confirmed that a pilot from another airline assisted in the situation, but did not provide details or who he currently works for.