(CNN) An off-duty pilot who was a passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight volunteered to help the flight crew after one of the pilots on duty had a mid-flight medical emergency.
Southwest Airlines said the incident began shortly after Flight 6013 took off from Las Vegas on Wednesday for Columbus, Ohio. One of the pilots “required medical attention,” the airline said.
“While our Southwest pilot was flying the aircraft, a certified pilot from another airline on board entered the flight deck and assisted with radio communication,” airline spokesman Chris Perry said. “We greatly appreciate their support and assistance.”
A nurse on board helped tend to the pilot, without releasing further details about his condition.
“The captain passed out en route. He is currently in the back of the plane with a flight attendant, but we need to get him into an ambulance immediately,” a flight crew member said in air traffic control audio. LiveATC.net.
“It is standard practice for our flight crew to request assistance from on-board medical personnel during in-flight medical events involving customers, and in this situation one of our employees was involved,” the airline said.
Data from flight tracking platform FlightAware.com It shows that the plane was in the air for about 1 hour and 17 minutes. After returning safely to Las Vegas, a backup crewman boarded and the flight continued to Columbus as scheduled, the airline said.
It has been reported that the Central Aviation Administration will conduct an investigation into the incident.
CNN’s Brian Rogus contributed to this report.