Event Details

Title:Pilot incapacitation, Boeing 777-236, G-YMMH
Micro summary:A sick first officer on this Boeing 777 ended up with him being incapacitated and a successful landing at Heathrow.
Event Time:2003-01-01 at 0400 UTC
File Name:2003-01-01-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/G2003/01/03
Site of event:En route (Cruise), Montreal to London
Departure:Pierre Elliott Trudeau International (Dorval) Airport, Montreal, Canada
Destination:London Heathrow Airport, London, England
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 777-236
Flight Phase:Cruise
Operator(s):British Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:After an uneventful departure, with the first officer as handling pilot, the aircraft was established in the cruise. Shortly after, the first officer informed the commander that he was feeling unwell and needed to go to the toilet. The commander assumed the handling duties and called a cabin attendant to the flight deck before the first officer left. About 30 minutes later, the first officer returned and informed the commander that he had vomited but was now feeling well and that he could continue with his duties. He took his normal flight deck seat but the commander decided to retain handling duties and to continue operating the R/T. Neither pilot had eaten since coming on board. The commander was also aware that the first officer had visited relatives during the stopover in Canada and therefore both pilots had eaten at different locations prior to the flight.

Some time later, with G-YMMH established on track over the Atlantic, the first officer indicated that he was again feeling unwell and needed to leave the flight deck. On this occasion, the commander considered it prudent for the Cabin Services Director (CSD) to join him on the flight deck as he was the holder of a PPL and an R/T licence. Shortly after, the commander was advised that the first officer had vomited again but was now resting in the cabin. The commander contacted 'Medi-link' to seek advice on the condition of the first officer and whether a diversion was necessary. He was given advice on suitable medication and informed that an immediate diversion did not seem necessary. With poor weather on the eastern coast of North America, the commander decided that his best option was to continue the flight to UK. Following the medication, the first officer stayed in the cabin and the CSD remained on the flight deck. The commander also contacted his company operations on HF radio, advised them of the situation and requested assistance on arrival at London Heathrow (LHR).

Then, following initial contact with 'Shanwick Control', a "PAN" was declared and, in accordance with company policy, single crew operation was also declared. Subsequently, G-YMMH was given direct routing culminating in an automatic landing on Runway 09R at LHR. The AFS met the aircraft on arrival but with no immediate assistance required, the commander continued to the allocated parking stand for an uneventful shut down. Once on stand, the first officer came to the flight deck and assisted the commander with the completion of the shutdown and secure checks and the necessary paperwork. The first officer was able to leave the aircraft unaided.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Pilot incapacitation
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