A pilot from another airline helped land a Southwest Airlines flight Wednesday after its captain became “incapacitated” and required medical attention, forcing the plane to return to Las Vegas, according to air and radio traffic data.
Southwest Flight 6013 was en route to Columbus on Wednesday after one of its pilots “required medical attention,” an airline spokeswoman said. They did not say what medical attention the pilot needed.
In radio traffic archived by the website LiveATC, a man can be heard saying that the captain began to feel pain in his stomach and five minutes later “passed out or passed out”.
They say the captain “came back” 60 seconds later and was looking at the back of the plane. “He should be taken in an ambulance immediately,” they said.
While the Southwest pilot was piloting the plane, a certified pilot from another airline on board entered the flight deck and assisted with radio communication, a Southwest spokesman said.
“We greatly appreciate their support and assistance,” they said.
The plane was able to land safely and a replacement crew operated the flight to Columbus, the spokesman said.
“We appreciate the crew’s professionalism and we appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding of the situation,” the spokesperson said.
The condition of the pilot, who required medical attention, was not immediately known Thursday morning.