Plane turned back to airport after pilots become dizzy

Updated: 

 British plane returned to airport after pilots become dizzyThe plane returned to Heathrow shortly after take-off. Stock image: PA



A Glasgow-bound plane carrying 116 passengers returned to London's Heathrow Airport when the pilot and co-pilot became dizzy and light-headed.

Herald Scotland reports that the female pilots quickly embarked on established procedures of dealing with 'incapacitation in the cockpit' when they were felt ill shortly after take-off.

A report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) showed details of the scare, which involved the 3.42pm flight to Scotland on 20 December last year.

In its investigation into the incident the report described how 'during the climb out of Heathrow both pilots had experienced symptoms of dizziness and light-headedness.'

The pilots put on their oxygen masks and returned to Heathrow where the aircraft landed without further problems.

'No fault was found with the aircraft and no-one else on the aircraft experienced adverse symptoms, the report read.

When the plane returned to Heathrow, the airport's fire and rescue services examined the cockpit but found no evidence of smoke or fumes. The pilots did not require medical attention.

According to Herald Scotland, the unnamed pilots were examined by paramedics but neither displayed any abnormal symptoms by that time.

The AAIB report said: 'Whilst the company operations manual requires any crew member who becomes incapacitated in flight to consult a company doctor as soon as possible after landing, the crew were still able to operate the aircraft as effective crew members.'

In the report, the captain said her light-headedness had begun when she looked down to the console to change a radio frequency. It only lasted for 25 seconds but she said the symptoms had been unique in her 12-year career with the operator.

The report concluded: 'The symptoms experienced by the commander may have been as a result of the after effects of a cold, combined with the coincidental head and aircraft movement.

'The temporary symptoms experienced by the co-pilot may have been effect of the potentially evolving situation of an incapacitation at an early stage in the flight leading to possible mild hyperventilation.'

Both pilots resumed their flying duties without any recurrence of the symptoms.

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