A co-pilot was able to land a Seattle-bound Alaska Airlines flight safely in Portland after the plane’s captain passed out Thursday night, according to airport officials.
When the captain of Flight 473 from Los Angeles passed out while flying over Oregon, the flight’s first officer took over, according to Alaska Airlines spokesman Paul McElroy. The 116 passengers aboard were told that the plane was being diverted to Portland for a medical emergency.
Fortunately a doctor on board was able to tend to the captain at the front of the plane, McElroy said. Immediately after landing at 8:51 p.m. paramedics took the captain to a local hospital. McElroy did not know what caused the pilot, who has worked for the airline for 28 years, to pass out or what his current condition is.
About 20 passengers have already taken a shuttle flight to Seattle for connecting flights. The rest will be taking a flight scheduled to take off at 12:30 a.m. and land in Seattle at 1:15 a.m.