On October 11th, trouble unfolded inside of French airspace. A TUIfly flight was en route from Hanover to Mallorca when mid flight, the first officer reported feeling very unwell, and soon after passed out. A stewardess on board then assisted the captain to land the Boeing 737-800 in Spain. Investigators from German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Investigation recently published details of the incident on Tuesday.
A doctor onboard the aircraft was called to the cockpit shortly after the incident where he concluded that the first officer was suffering from low blood pressure. Despite it not being a critical health problem, the pilot was still unable to fly the aircraft. Pilots are trained to be able to land an aircraft solo, however there there is no regulation stopping the assistance of others on board to help perform tasks in the cockpit in situations like this. In this situation, the pilot landed the aircraft himself while the stewardess simply assisted with routine checklists and procedures inside the cockpit.
After they landed in Spain, the pilot was taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated, and no abnormalities were found. Jan Hillrichs, a TUIfly spokesman, explained how these cases are “extremely rare” and that the safety of the aircraft and the 195 passengers and crew on board was never compromised at any time during the flight. The stewardess will be rewarded for her actions.