A mid-air emergency was declared yesterday when the Easyjet Flight EZY5461 from Gatwick to Crete had to be diverted when the pilot blacked out at the controls.
Fortunately, CAA rules dictate that airlines must have 2 qualified pilots in the cockpit and so the co-pilot was able to divert the plane to Marco Polo airport in Venice, Italy. The plane was met by paramedics who took the pilot to the local hospital where he remains under observation. His family revealed that he had suffered a heart attack but that he was not in a critical condition.
Meanwhile, the passengers were left stranded at Marco Polo airport for several hours until Easyjet sent a replacement aircraft to pick them up and take them on to Crete.
It is fortunate that the proposal made by Ryan Air for having just one qualified pilot on board has not been adopted by the Civil Aviation Authority.
This emergency comes less than a week after an American commercial pilot suffered a heart attack and died at the controls of a flight from Phoenix Arizona to Boston.