The plane returned safely to Las Vegas.
An off-duty pilot sprang into action Wednesday after a Southwest Airlines pilot suffered a medical emergency mid-flight, airline officials said.
Southwest Flight 6013 had just taken off for its trip between Las Vegas and Columbus, Ohio, around 6:33 a.m. when the pilot had a medical emergency, Southwest Airlines said in a statement. Crew members reported that the captain had stomach pains and passed out, according to the air traffic control radio.
An off-duty pilot from another airline, who was traveling as a passenger, entered the flight deck and assisted the crew with radio calls as they turned around and headed back to Las Vegas, according to Southwest.
“He’s in the back of the aircraft now with the flight attendants. But we need to get him into an ambulance immediately,” the unidentified pilot told air traffic controllers in the cockpit, according to air traffic audio.
The plane returned to Las Vegas where emergency health crews are treating the captain, according to the airline.
“We greatly appreciate their support and assistance,” Southwest said of the off-duty pilot in a statement.
The status of the Southwest pilot was not immediately disclosed. An alternate flight crew was called and the passengers arrived at their destination later in the day, according to Southwest.
“We commend the crew for their professionalism and appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding regarding the situation,” Southwest said in a statement.
The FAA said they are investigating the incident.