Pilot Passes Out In Midair: Co-Pilot Emergency Lands Alaska Airlines Flight [VIDEO]

By Staff Reporter on February 1, 2013 2:44 PM EST

Boeing 737
An Alaska Airline pilot loses consciousness mid-flight to Seattle. Boeing 737 is pictured. (Photo: Creative Commons)

Alaska Airlines Flight 473 headed for Seattle was bound for disaster when the captain suddenly lost consciousness, forcing his co-pilot to perform an emergency landing all by himself. Thankfully, the plane and its 121 crew and passengers landed safely.

According to accounts, the Alaska Airlines pilot inexplicably blacked out "somewhere over the Oregon" and was promptly treated by a doctor that was on board the flight. The co-pilot declared an emergency in order for proper medical attention to reach the captain as soon as possible.

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The airliner was a Boeing 737-700 and carried 116 passengers and five crew members at the time. The plane took off from Los Angeles at 6:30 p.m. and was expected to arrive in Seattle at 9:30 p.m. The plane quickly landed on Portland International Airport in response to the captain's black out.

Yesterday's incident was actually the second Alaska Airlines pilot this year to lose consciousness in the cockpit. On Jan. 22, an Alaska Airlines co-pilot fainted during a flight from Seattle to Las Vegas. Carrying 146 passengers, the flight landed safely at Las Vegas without incident.

"At this point we do not believe there was a connection between the two incidents," assured the Alaska Airlines spokesperson Paul McElroy.

Alaska Airlines has declined from releasing the name of the pilot but did emphasize that the individual was highly experienced and has worked with the airline for nearly 30 years. The co-pilot has flown for the airline for 11 years.

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