Seattle-bound plane makes emergency landing after pilot passes out

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A Seattle-bound Alaska Airlines flight made an emergency landing in Portland after the pilot passed out.

 

Alaska Airlines flight 473 left Los Angeles International Airport Thursday night and was supposed to land at Sea-Tac Airport, but the co-pilot took over and made an emergency landing in Portland instead.

 

Once the plane landed safely, it was towed to the gate rather than taxiing because the captain usually performs that duty. 

 

Emergency crews then boarded the plane to treat the captain. There is no word on what caused him to pass out.  No passengers on the flight were hurt.

 

The flight then arrived at Sea-Tac around 1:17 a.m. Passengers who spoke with KIRO 7 said the co-pilot did a great job landing the plane safely and making the passengers feel at ease.

 

Passengers said the first indication that anything was wrong began when flight attendants started moving quickly toward the front of the plane.

 

“There was some excitement up front.  You could see it. We were back about halfway and all of a sudden, the attendants started running up and down the aisle. I'd never seen them go so fast,” said passenger Dick Streeter.

 

They then made an announcement asking if anyone on board was medically trained who could assist with a medical emergency.

 

“(They) began to work on him.  (A flight attendant) asked if there were any medical personnel on board -- EMTs, paramedics, doctors -- and one young lady came up to the front as well as another young man and they worked on him for a while, and then he seemed to be OK,” said passenger James Cathcart.

 

One passenger who spoke with a KIRO 7 crew said that the pilot was placed in the seat next to him for treatment.

 

 He said once the plane landed in Portland around 9 p.m., the pilot was able to get up and walk himself over to the gurney to be taken off the plane by medics.