Dramatic Rescue: Heroic Off-Duty Pilot From Different Airline Saves Passengers As Southwest Captain Falls Ill Mid-Flight

By Ryan Canady | Monday, 27 March 2023 10:25
Views 7.2K

After stepping in during an emergency mid-flight, an off-duty pilot is celebrated as the day’s hero.

Fox Business reports that the off-duty pilot stepped in after one of the assigned pilots on a Southwest flight required medical attention mid-flight.

A Southwest Airlines spokesman spoke with Fox Business about Flight 6013 from Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio. This was the flight in question, and it became a lot scarier after it took off when the pilot required some medical attention shortly after takeoff. Someone needed to step in urgently because there was the potential that the entire flight could be in danger if there weren’t someone to step in and make sure the flight could make it safely to the ground.

The airline said: “The Pilot was removed from the Flight Deck as they were unable to perform their duties,” and “A credentialed Pilot from another airline, who was on board, entered the Flight Deck and assisted with radio communication while our Southwest Pilot flew the aircraft,.” They completed the thought by saying: “We greatly appreciate their support and assistance.”

Fox Business reports that the flight took off at 6:30 AM local time before being turned around and returned to Las Vegas at approximately 8 AM local time. The Southwest Airlines spokesman that spoke about the issue before also said: “The flight landed safely, and an alternate Flight Crew operated the flight to CMH,” and “We commend the Crew for their professionalism and appreciate our Customers’ patience and understanding regarding the situation.”


The flight successfully took off three hours later and made it to the destination of Columbus, OH.

This news comes as Southwest Airlines had another close call in January when one of its jets nearly collided with an ambulance on the ground before takeoff. In that case, the jet came within 200 feet of colliding with the ambulance. It was something that nearly caused a major incident for the airline. Therefore, it is essential to recognize that these issues could continue.

In this case, it was very fortunate for everyone on board that an off-duty pilot could respond and help with the flight to get it down to the ground. The good news is that this particular flight was safe for all on board, but it raises the question of what might happen the next time something like this occurs.