A Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio had to head back to Nevada yesterday when the captain fell ill. He first complained of stomach pain, and five minutes later he "fainted or became incapacitated," according to LiveATC's archived radio traffic, via NBC News.
"The captain became incapacitated while en route," someone from the flight crew could be heard saying. "He's in the back of the aircraft right now with a flight attendant, but we need to get him on an ambulance immediately."
But as luck would have it, a pilot from another airline happened to be on board and entered the cockpit to assist the other Southwest pilot.
The person says the captain "came back" around 60 seconds later and was being looked after in the back of the plane. …
The Southwest spokesperson said a credentialed pilot from another airline, who was on board, entered the flight deck and assisted with radio communication as a Southwest pilot flew the aircraft.
"We greatly appreciate their support and assistance," the spokesperson said.
The plane was able to land safely and an alternate crew took over, operating the flight to Columbus, the spokesperson said.
The airline that the passenger pilot worked for wasn't disclosed by NBC, and the captain's condition wasn't made clear as of this morning.