Jet2 plane makes emergency landing after captain faints in cockpit

Off-duty pilot took over for landing in Porto, Portugal

An off-duty pilot had to land a Boeing 757 aircraft operated by Yorkshire-based Jet2 in Porto, Portugal, after the captain fainted at the controls. Toby Melville / Reuters
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An off-duty pilot steered an aircraft towards an emergency landing on Monday in Portugal after its captain fainted in the cockpit.

The Boeing 757 jet, operated by British airline, was flying from Manchester to Funchal, on the Portuguese island of Madeira, when the crew announced there had been an incident about 10.20am local time.

After finding out that the captain had fainted, an off-duty pilot had to make an emergency landing in Porto, where airport staff closed the runaway for half an hour for the unscheduled arrival.

Medical staff boarded the plane in Porto and put the captain, 40, on oxygen before taking him to hospital.

"They made the announcement that there had been an incident on the flight deck and another Jet2 pilot, who happened to be on holiday, came forward from the back of the plane," Nicholas Banks, a banker who was on the plane, told MailOnline.

“He offered his services to the crew and went into the cabin. He didn’t come out until he helped the pilot off the plane when we landed.

‘”The original pilot was wheeled off in wheelchair with an oxygen mask, but we couldn’t really see.”

The airline later apologised on Twitter after customers said they were kept waiting for hours in the airport.

“We would like to apologise to customers travelling on LS765 from Manchester to Funchal, Madeira, which has diverted into Porto, Portugal due to an onboard medical situation," it tweeted.

"We are working to get you on your way ASAP."

In July, fined passenger Chloe Haines £85,000 (Dh381,587) for throwing a tantrum, fighting and trying to open emergency doors during the flight.