Video: Pilot suffers heart attack while flying passenger plane


Passengers on a United Airlines plane were left terrified after the pilot suffered a heart attack in the cockpit.

A nurse from California was hailed a hero after she stepped in following an announcement asking whether anyone on board had medical training.

Linda Alweiss, who was with her husband and 16-year-old daughter, was returning from a Christmas break in Iowa on 30 December when the emergency occurred at 30,000ft.

The registered nurse found the pilot slumped over in the cockpit, incoherent and mumbling.

Along with another nurse on the flight, Amy Sorenson, of Wyoming, and with the help of other passengers, the pair pulled the captain into the galley, set up a diagnostic defibrillator and administered an IV.

In the meantime, passengers were left unnerved when they heard another announcement asking whether anyone on board had flight experience.

Ms Alweiss told KTLA: "I turned to the co-pilot and I asked her, 'You know how to land the plane, right?' And she said yes.

"I felt immediately comfortable. That was just one thing I didn't have to think about, so I could focus more on what was going on with the patient."

The plane landed safely at an Omaha airport, and the pilot survived.

According to the Daily Mail, the airline said in a statement: "United flight 1637, a Boeing 737 operating between Des Moines and Denver Monday evening, landed safely in Omaha after the captain became ill.

"United accommodated the customers overnight, and they continued to Denver the next day."

Alweiss' husband Alan said: "She did her job. She jumped at the opportunity, didn't hesitate. And she did it at 30,000 feet, knowing that the person who was supposed to be flying the plane was her patient."

15 flights from hell

15 flights from hell

Related articles

Pilot dies after mid-air heart attack

Plane makes emergency landing after pilot has mid-air heart attack