Event Details

Title:Pilot incapacitation in cruise, BAe 146-300 (EI-DEX), September 30, 2004
Micro summary:The first officer of this BAe-146 is incapacitated, resulting in a diversion back to Dublin.
Event Time:2004-09-30 at 0640 UTC
File Name:2004-09-30-IE.pdf
Publishing Agency:Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU)
Publishing Country:Ireland
Report number:2004/022
Diversion Airport:Dublin Airport, Dublin, Ireland
Site of event:In cruise, Dublin-Paris
Departure:Dublin Airport, Dublin, Ireland
Destination:Charles De Gaulle International Airport (Roissy Airport), Paris, France
Airplane Type(s):BAe 146-300
Flight Phase:Cruise
Type of flight:Revenue
Serious Injuries:1
Other Injuries:
Diverted to:Dublin Airport, Dublin, Ireland
Executive Summary:The aircraft was on a scheduled flight from Dublin to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. On passing Flight Level (FL) 100 the First Officer (F/O), who was the handling pilot, advised the Captain that he was feeling unwell and, on reaching their cruising level of FL270, his situation deteriorated further. The Captain decided to return to Dublin and made a Mayday call to London Air Traffic Control (ATC), advising them of F/O incapacitation and his intention to return to base. Clearance was quickly granted. With the assistance of a cabin crew member (CCM) the Captain had the FO secured in his seat and moved back from the controls. The CCM then got in the jump seat and assisted the Captain by reading out the checklist, in accordance with the Operators procedures. The Captain landed the aircraft back in Dublin. An ambulance awaited the F/O’s arrival and removed him to Beaumount Hospital. The flight to Paris was then rescheduled with a new cockpit crew and departed a short time later.

Subsequent medical tests on the F/O diagnosed an upper respiratory infection which cleared up after four days. Following an examination by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) Medical Examiner the F/O was cleared to return to normal flying duties.

Pilot incapacitation in flight is a rare but not unprecedented occurrence. Pilots are trained to operate as a team in the cockpit environment, each capable of performing the other’s duties and guided by what are known in the industry as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and other Procedures that deal with emergency situations, for example. Pilot incapacitation is one such emergency procedure which was dealt with by the Captain and CCM in this event in a text book manner.
Learning Keywords:Operations - Pilot incapacitation
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