Event Details

Title:Pilot incapacitation on China Airlines Flight Ci681, an A300-600R, B-18503, on 2000-05-08
Micro summary:The captain of this airplane was discovered incapacitated during cruise.
Event Time:2000-05-08 at 0817 Taiwan time
File Name:2000-05-08-TW.pdf
Publishing Agency:Aviation Safety Council (ASC)
Publishing Country:Taiwan
Report number:Unknown
Diversion Airport:Taipei Chiang Kai Shek International Airport, Taiwan
Site of event:Cruise
Departure:Taipei Chiang Kai Shek International Airport, Taiwan
Destination:Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Saigon), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Airplane Type(s):Airbus A300-600R
Flight Phase:Cruise
Operator(s):China Airlines
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:0
Other Injuries:0
Diverted to:Taipei Chiang Kai Shek International Airport, Taiwan
Executive Summary:31 minutes after taking off from Taiwan's CKS International Airport at 0746Note local time on May 8, 2000, and during cruising level flight and heading for Ho-chiming City, Vietnam, the first officer of China Airlines' flight CI681, an A300-600R with registered number B-18503 and carrying 265 passengers found out that the captain had suddenly showed no response to the flight. Following the incapacitation procedures, the first officer called the cabin chief flight attendant and a flight attendant to help him to move the captain to the main cabin (galley) to do the first aid. At the same time, through the passenger address system the cabin chief announced for the help of a doctor on board, if any.

Then the first officer decided to turn back to CKS International Airport. Eventually, the aircraft landed safely via autopilot system on Runway 05-Left. At 0816, before landing, a request was issued for ambulance and towing vehicle to stand by. The aircraft landed at 0850 and stopped on the taxiway at 0852. As China Airlines allows no first officer taxi, the aircraft waited to be towed to the parking bay. After towing to the parking bay, medical personnel embarked the aircraft to carry out first aid. At 0936, the captain was carried to Mingsheng Hospital in Tao Yuan County. After unsuccessful operations, the captain was announced dead at 1020 in that hospital.

This flight crewmember incapacitation incident was rated as a serious incident and was then investigated by the Aviation Safety Council (ASC), the Executive Yuan. After the acknowledgement of the incident, ASC dispatched his investigators, as stipulated in Art. 84 of the Civil Aviation Law, to both CKS International Airport and China Airlines for investigations that included interview to associated personnel, examination to the captain's personal flight bag and the read out of Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of the aircraft.

Probable Causes
The pilot’s natural death was caused by heart rhythm disorder that was triggered by acute cardiac artery occlusion.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Pilot incapacitation
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