Journalism of Courage

Pilot faints in cockpit, forces emergency landing

Pilot welfare is increasingly coming into focus as shortages grip the industry and test their endurance.

The pilot of a Jet2 plane, who fainted mid-flight cruising at 30,000 feet, has made an emergency landing in Greece.

The flight attendants had told passengers that the pilot had fainted in the cockpit on a flight from England to Turkey.

To avert disaster, the co-pilot took over in the cockpit and made an emergency landing in Greece on Tuesday, reports said.

According to a passenger,  a flight attendant announced that the pilot had fainted.

“While we were all [seated] we noticed something was going on at the front of the plane.

“We thought someone had hurt themselves in the toilet while experiencing turbulence. We were told we were landing in Greece due to a medical emergency on board. We weren’t told what part.

“People were worried as we’d just been through turbulence and we didn’t know what was happening,” the passenger said.

The traveler also said their arrival was delayed by eight hours during which time their family of four received vouchers worth 60 ($59.79) for meals.

They said they would not receive compensation as Jet2 doesn’t cover delays caused by a medical emergency.

Commenting on the incident, a Jet2 spokesperson said “the landing was a precautionary measure for an unwell pilot.”

He said the pilot’s ordeal began with a bout of turbulence while the plane was at 30,000 feet.

“Flight LS1239 from Birmingham to Antalya diverted to Thessaloniki Airport as a precautionary measure on Tuesday (August 23) due to one of the pilots feeling unwell. A replacement crew were flown to Thessaloniki so that we could get customers on their way to Antalya that same evening.”

“We communicated this to our customers as soon as possible, and our teams worked extremely hard to look after everyone. We would like to apologize to anyone affected by this unforeseen delay.”

Pilot welfare is increasingly coming into focus as shortages grip the industry and test their endurance.

Last week, the Aviation Herald reported that an Ethiopian Airlines flight missed its descent after both pilots fell asleep in the air.

Other airlines such as WizzAir have been investigated by regulators amid fears they are encouraging pilots to fly while tired and take on extra trips.

Read Also: Air France suspends pilots for cockpit fight

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