A passenger took the controls of a flight form Toronto to Punta Cana after one of the plane’s pilots became incapacitated.
Air Transat flight 186 departed at 9:30 a.m. on November 20 with 299 passengers on board, and was scheduled into the Dominican Republic at 2 p.m. About three hours into the journey one of the pilots became ill. One of the airline’s pilots was among the passengers and replaced the member of the cockpit crew.
Dramatic Rendering, Credit: DALL-E
The flight continued to its destination, instead of diverting which would have been required with only a single pilot.
Earlier this year a passenger stepped into the cockpit to fly after a Southwest Airlines pilot fell ill. Another airline’s pilot was on the Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio flight and assisted, akin to a pilot falling ill in the cockpit and Ted Striker being asked to help with the radio.
Two pilots still make sense in the cockpit, though eventually that will change with artificial intelligence outperforming human co-pilots and making flights even safer. Still, the single remaining pilot would have been capable of returning the aircraft to the ground. Having another airline pilot available to assist, though details aren’t available on whether they were type-rated for the aircraft, was certainly helpful and an additional stroke of luck.