Panic as pilot incapacitated mid-flight
A pilot was forced to declare himself incapacitated while flying over the South China Sea from Perth to Hong Kong when he became short of breath and his vision was impaired.
The Air Accident Investigation Authority (AAIA) in Hong Kong is investigating the "serious" incident, which occurred in February.
Cathay Pacific flight CX170 was flying from Perth International Airport to Hong Kong, and was carrying 270 passengers and 13 crew members at the time.
The pilot announced to his crew that he felt unwell with over an hour left in the flight, and the co-pilot was forced to take command.
A "PAN-PAN" call was made to Hong Kong air traffic control, informing them that an urgent, but not life-threatening, situation had occurred.
At an altitude of 11,580 metres, the AAIA's preliminary report revealed a "recognised medical professional" was on board the aircraft at the time of the incident, who provided assistance to the pilot.
A desperate call was made to passengers for anyone with medical experience to help.
A passenger who was a medical professional assisted and a company doctor also gave advice over the plane's communications system.
The co-pilot also descended to a lower altitude to assist with the captain's breathing.
The flight landed without incident around 7am at Hong Kong International Airport.
This is the second incident this year involving a pilot on board a Cathay Pacific flight becoming incapacitated due to "physical discomfort."
On Jan. 26, a Boeing 777-367 flying from Japan to Hong Kong encountered similar issues, and the co-pilot had to assume command of the plane.
Both incidents are being investigated by the AAIA.
This article originally appeared on Fox News and was republished with permission