Local News

Pilot who passed out during flight believed to have had food poisoning or the flu

flightSEATTLE — Doctors believe food poisoning or a flu virus caused an Alaska Airlines pilot to pass out on a Seattle-bound flight that was diverted to Portland Thursday night, an airline spokeswoman said.

Alaska Airlines Flight 473 from Los Angeles to Seattle landed in Portland Thursday night after the pilot passed out. The copilot landed the Boeing 737 safely at Portland International Airport shortly after 9 p.m. and the pilot was taken to the hospital, officials said.

No one was injured.

The pilot was treated at the hospital but has since been released and “his condition has greatly improved,” Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Bobbie Egan said Friday.

The flight took off from Los Angeles International Airport at 6:37 p.m with 116 passengers on board. The pilot, who has 28 years of flight experience, lost consciousness somewhere over Oregon, Alaska Airlines said. The co-pilot, who has 11 years of  flight experience, took over the controls and the plane was diverted to the nearest airport — Portland International.

Passengers were put on other flights bound for Seattle.


15 Comments to “Pilot who passed out during flight believed to have had food poisoning or the flu”

    Bruce Wayne said:
    February 1, 2013 at 4:03 AM

    poor guy probably ate the crew meal

    Bob B said:
    February 1, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    He probably had the fish.

      Chuck said:
      February 3, 2013 at 11:31 PM

      He should have had the lasagna.

    Captain Murdock said:
    February 1, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Roger, what's my vector Victor?

    Glad everyone is safe :)
    We're all counting on you…

    Phil said:
    February 2, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    Glad everyone is OK…. Good thing for that inflatable Co-Pilot……

      John Debba said:
      February 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      Brings to mind Michael O'Leary, owner of Rayan Air, asking aviation authorities for permission to use only one pilot per flight because he believes co-pilots are unnecessary in modern jets.

      Thankfully everything ended well all around

      Chuck said:
      February 3, 2013 at 11:30 PM


    Neil said:
    February 4, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Does that picture in this article look like the plane is pitched down in the front, the tail up in the air??

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