Off-duty pilot steps in to help land plane after captain falls ill

·1-min read

An off-duty pilot has stepped in to help land a plane after its captain became ill on a flight bound for Columbus, Ohio.

Southwest Flight 6013 was forced to return to Las Vegas on Wednesday as urgent medical attention was required for the original pilot, who was "incapacitated".

Luckily, a passenger was well-placed to help the crew.

The off-duty pilot from another airline jumped in to help with radio communication, while the other Southwest pilot took over the controls.

In radio archive recordings, the co-pilot is heard saying: "The captain became incapacitated while en route.

"He's in the back of the aircraft right now with a flight attendant.

"But we need to get him on an ambulance immediately."

Southwest Airlines thanked the off-duty pilot who stepped up to help.

A spokesperson said: "We greatly appreciate their support and assistance."

"We commend the crew for their professionalism and appreciate our customers' patience and understanding regarding the situation," the spokesperson added.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the flight returned to Las Vegas and landed "without incident".

The plane was able to land safely and an alternate crew were able to take over and operate the flight to Columbus.

The condition of the pilot who required medical attention has not yet been made clear.