Alaska Air Jet Lands Safely After Pilot Passes Out

by Christopher Freeburn | February 1, 2013 10:32 am

alaska air nyse:alk airline stock[1]A Seattle-bound Alaska Air Group (NYSE:ALK[2]) Boeing 737-700 made an emergency landing in Portland, Ore., on Thursday night after one of its pilots became ill[3].

The pilot fainted while the plane was flying over Oregon, after leaving Los Angeles at 6:30 p.m. After he left the cockpit to receive medical attention in the cabin, the co-pilot safely landed the plane around 9 p.m., USA Today notes.

A spokesperson for Alaska Air said the pilot has worked for the company for 28 years. He was taken to a Portland hospital. The airline didn’t disclose a medical reason for his loss of consciousness during the flight.

The plane had been scheduled to land in Seattle at 9:30 p.m. Some passengers boarded a shuttle flight to reach Seattle in time to make a connecting flight, while the rest remained with the airplane until a new pilot arrived to fly them to their original destination.

This is the second time this month an Alaska Air pilot has fainted. Last week, a co-pilot on a flight between Seattle and Las Vegas passed out, prompting an emergency landing to obtain medical treatment. The airline said the incidents were unrelated.

Shares of Alaska Air Group rose more than 1% in Friday morning trading.

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