Pilot from another airline assists Southwest captain after he becomes incapacitated mid-flight

On Wednesday morning, Southwest Flight #6013 took off from Harry Reid International Airport at 6:33 a.m. The plane was intended to fly to Columbus, Ohio, but the captain of the plane suddenly became “incapacitated” and “needed medical attention,” according to a spokesperson for Southwest Airlines.

Air traffic control audio from LiveATC.net indicates that the pilot had experienced stomach pain and “fainted.”

Fortunately, an off-duty pilot from another airline was on board and volunteered to take over the navigation of the plane. After an hour and 17 minutes in the air, the plane returned to the airport in Las Vegas.

Another flight crew was brought in, and the plane finally flew to Columbus.

Southwest Airlines said, “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.”

They commended the crew for their professionalism and appreciated customers’ patience and understanding regarding the situation. No updates were provided on the pilot’s condition.

The Federal Aviation Administration is now examining the incident and recently issued a warning to pilots to take “safety actions.” The FAA statement advised pilots to be aware of the risks of collisions during runway crossings.

The warning was issued in response to an incident last month when an Air Canada airliner nearly collided with an American Airlines plane on the runway at the Sarasota–Bradenton International Airport in Florida.