An Alaska Airlines flight flying from Los Angeles to Seattle had to make an emergency landing last night in Portland, Ore. after the pilot passed out, which could be a pretty scary situation. All 116 passengers aboard and the five crew members aboard are reportedly safe after the procedure.
The flight touched down a little after 9 p.m. local time, said an Alaska Airlines spokesman, saying the pilot suffers from a medical condition. And while the passengers surely realized they were landing in the wrong place, it’s unclear whether or not they knew what had happened in the cockpit.
A doctor on the plane helped the pilot out, while the co-pilot took control of the aircraft.
ABC News spoke to an aviation analyst and former pilot who noted this is not a normal occurrence.
“It’s very rare that we have a pilot pass out, lose consciousness or have a physical impairment in the cockpit, but when it does that’s the reason why we have two people up there very well trained,” he said. “Your very first job as a co-pilot, if the captain should keel over, in this instance is to fly the airplane. That’s the number one. Try to revive him and figure out what’s going on if you can.”
Upon the plane’s landing, an ambulance took the pilot — a 28-year veteran of the airline — to the hospital. Meanwhile a flight crew was flown in and the remaining passengers continued to Seattle on the same plane overnight.