Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Co-pilot flips out, flight attendant helps land airliner

It sounds like a script from a bad movie but it actually happened. While over the Atlantic, flying a Boeing 767 from Toronto to London, a co-pilot with 6,500 hours of flying time had a mental breakdown. He had to be wrestled from the cockpit by a group of flight attendants, restrained, and sedated.

Here is an excerpt from an article at MSNBC:
The pilot concluded that his colleague was now so "belligerent and uncooperative" that he couldn't do his job.

The report said the pilot summoned several flight attendants to remove the co-pilot from the cockpit, and one flight attendant suffered an injured wrist in the struggle. Doctors from Britain and Canada on board determined that the co-pilot was confused and disoriented.

The report did not mention how the co-pilot was restrained. Departing passengers at the time said his arms and legs had been tied up to keep him under control.

The pilot then asked flight attendants to find out if any passenger was a qualified pilot. When none was found, one stewardess admitted she held a current commercial pilot's license but said her license for reading cockpit instruments had expired.

"The flight attendant provided useful assistance to the commander, who remarked in a statement to the investigation that she was `not out of place' while occupying the right-hand seat," the report said.

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