BA pilot leaves captain to land plane on own after food poisoning

Updated: 

BA pilot leaves captain to land plane on own after food poisoning

A BA pilot suffering with food poisoning fled the cockpit to be sick in the loo - just as the plane was coming into land at Heathrow.

The captain of the Boeing 747 was then forced to follow safety procedure before landing the plane on his own.

A British Airways spokesman told The Sun: "He was sick in the toilet just outside the cockpit door.

"He couldn't return to the cockpit, so the Captain followed all the relevant safety procedures. The aircraft touched down normally."

A source told the paper that the incident, which happened in March 2012, was "harrowing" for the pilot - and the passengers who saw him fleeing the cockpit.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said the co-pilot did an "exemplary job" in landing the plane safely.

A BALPA spokesman told MailOnline: "Events like these are fortunately rare, but they show the professionalism and skill of pilots when they do.

"The workload for a single pilot landing an aircraft on his or her own is tremendous and he appears to have done an exemplary job in this case."

The news comes just a week after BALPA revealed more than half of pilots have fallen asleep in the cockpit.

The survey carried out on 500 pilots found that 56 per cent admitted nodding off, while 29 per cent said they had woken to find the co-pilot asleep, too.

On Sunday, a pilot admitted to falling asleep at the same time as his co-pilot during a flight, just days after it was reported that two Virgin Atlantic pilots suffered "severe fatigue" and had to take turns resting on a Transatlantic flight to the UK.

The pilot says he and his co-pilot were coming to the end of a long overnight shift and were due to land a freight plane to Spain.

Related articles

Pilot dies after mid-air heart attack

Video: Drunk man attacks pilot

15 flights from hell

15 flights from hell