A pilot from another airline helped land a Southwest Airlines flight on Wednesday after its captain became “incapacitated” and required medical attention, forcing the flight to turn back to Las Vegas, according to the airline and radio traffic data.
Southwest Flight 6013 was bound for Columbus on Wednesday when one of its pilots “needed medical attention,” a spokesperson for the airline said. They did not say what the pilot required medical attention for.
In radio traffic archived by the website LiveATC, someone can be heard saying that the captain had started to feel stomach pain and then “fainted or became incapacitated” around five minutes later.
They say the captain “came back” around 60 seconds later and was being looked after in the back of the plane. “We need to get him on an ambulance immediately,” they say.
The Southwest spokesperson said a credentialed pilot from another airline, who was on board the plane, entered the flight deck and assisted with radio communication as a Southwest pilot flew the aircraft.
“We greatly appreciate their support and assistance,” they said.
The flight was able to land safely and an alternate crew took over, operating the flight to Columbus, the spokesperson said.
“We commend the crew for their professionalism and appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding regarding the situation,” the spokesperson said.
The condition of the pilot who required medical attention was not immediately clear Thursday morning.
Jay Blackman is an NBC News producer covering such areas a transportation, space, medical and consumer issues.
Chantal Da Silva is a breaking news editor for NBC News Digital based in London.
Josh Cradduck contributed.
The post Pilot from another airline helps land Southwest flight after captain falls ill appeared first on NBC News.