Off-duty pilot steps in to make emergency landing after original pilot falls ill

An off-duty pilot was forced to step up and make an emergency landing on a flight after the original pilot fell ill. 

Jet2 flight LS765 was on its way from Manchester to Madeira with 235 passengers onboard when the incident occurred.

According to passenger Nicholas Banks, an announcement came over the tannoy that there had been “an incident on the flight deck” at about 10.20am.

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“Another Jet2 pilot who happened to be on holiday came forward from the back of the plane,” he told the Mail Online.

Banks said the man offered up his services to the crew and was taken into the cabin to assist the first officer. 

He said: “The crew did a great job. I was quite relaxed because of the spare pilot and that there was a co-pilot.”

The pilot who had fallen ill was seen by passengers being taken off in a wheelchair and wearing an oxygen mask.

The Boeing 757 aircraft had to perform an emergency landing at Porto airport in northwest Portugal.

According to local media, the runway had to be closed for 30 minutes to facilitate the landing, but quickly returned to normal again.

Medical responders reported that a 40-year-old man had been taken to hospital “as a precaution”.

Jet2 said the aircraft was landed by the first officer via normal procedures, but confirmed that another pilot onboard the aircraft came forward to offer assistance. 

The airline said in a statement: “Flight LS765 from Manchester to Funchal diverted to Porto as a precautionary measure yesterday, due to one of the pilots feeling unwell. A replacement aircraft and crew has since flown customers to Funchal.”

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