Off-duty pilot helps land Southwest plane after captain has medical emergency

Passengers on Southwest flight 6013 from Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio, were in for a scare when their pilot suffered a medical emergency mid-flight.

News first broke on CNN after a traffic recording on LiveATC revealed that the flight’s captain had become incapacitated after experiencing stomach pains.

“A credentialed Pilot from another airline, who was on board, entered the Flight Deck and assisted with radio communication while our Southwest Pilot flew the aircraft,” airline spokesperson Chris Perry told CNN.

A nurse who was on board stepped in to care for the pilot after.

“It’s standard procedure for our Flight Crews to request assistance from traveling medical personnel during in-flight medical events involving Customers; this situation just so happened to involve one of our Employees,” the airline said.

The flight was in the air for just about an hour before returning to Las Vegas. It didn’t take long for a new flight crew to be assigned to get the passengers on their way.

“We commend the crew for their professionalism and appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding regarding the situation,” said Perry.

The pilot’s name and the airlines he works for have yet to be released. Currently, there’s a pending investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.