The Jet Airways flight 9W063 from Bangkok, which had 200 passengers on board, was halfway through its journey from Bangkok to Delhi when the pilot became unwell and couldn’t take the stick.
Co-pilot Samir Malhotra was forced to take over the aircraft and declare an emergency – but luckily a Jet Airways pilot was travelling as a passenger.
He joined the co-pilot in the cockpit and the pair landed at the Indira Gandhi international airport.
A Jet Airways spokesman said: “The Captain of Jet Airways flight 9W 063 from Bangkok – Delhi fell sick during the latter part of the flight.
“The first officer took over as the commander and declared an Emergency as per company and regulatory requirements. This is done so that the flight is accorded high priority and preparations are made for the flight’s arrival on the ground. The aircraft landed safely at Delhi Airport.
“The Captain was being looked after by a Doctor that was traveling as a passenger on board the flight. The first officer was assisted by another Jet Airways Captain that was positioning as a passenger from Bangkok to Delhi.
“As part of our flight training program, the flight crew and cabin crew of Jet Airways are routinely trained to handle this as well as other possible exigencies that may develop during flight.” After landing the aircraft was stuck on the tarmac until it could be towed away.
Indian aviation rules do not permit first officers to taxi an aircraft. Authorities have ordered a probe into the matter and the cockpit crew has been taken off roster pending that inquiry.