Event Details

Title:Pilot incapacitation, Boeing 767-336, G-BNWL, 20 November 1996
Micro summary:The first officer of this Boeing 767-336 became progressively incapacitated during descent.
Event Time:1996-11-20 at 0800 UTC
File Name:1996-11-20-UK.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB)
Publishing Country:United Kingdom
Report number:EW/G96/11/16
Site of event:Descent to Heathrow
Departure:Glasgow International Airport, Glasgow, Scotland
Destination:London Heathrow Airport, London, England
Airplane Type(s):Boeing 767-336
Flight Phase:Descent
Operator(s):British Airways
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:1
Other Injuries:0
Executive Summary:The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Glasgow to Heathrow Airport and the First Officer (FO) was the handling pilot. He was controlling the aircraft via the mode control panel with the autothrottle and autopilot engaged. Passing 13,500 feet in the descent he complained to the commander that he was having problems in clearing his ears due to a head cold. Later, whilst turning base leg for Runway 27L, he complained that he was feeling unwell. The commander described the FO as ' very quiet, lethargic,pale and generally looking unwell'.

The commander took control of the aircraft. He left the automatic systems engaged and summoned the senior cabin crew member to assist with the pilot incapacitation drill. He then informed ATC of the situation and requested that medical assistance be available after landing. The FO was conscious throughout but unable to participate effectively for the remainder of the flight. The subsequent 'autoland 'was uneventful and, since the FO appeared to have recovered a little, the commander decided to taxi to the allocated stand where medical help was available. The FO was later assessed as fit to fly back to Glasgow that afternoon as a passenger.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Pilot incapacitation
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