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Published on Thursday, June 14, 2018

Flybe pilot restrained by crew after cockpit seizure



A Flybe pilot had to be restrained by a member of the cabin crew after suffering a violent seizure in the cockpit during a flight from Inverness to Jersey.

He became incapacitated and repeatedly pressed his feet on the rudder pedals, forcing the flight captain to counteract his actions.

A report into the incident by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said the autopilot system became disconnected and the Dash 8 aircraft, carrying 43 passengers and four crew, slewed, causing a member of the cabin crew to fall.

The captain said the co-pilot was shaking, his arms were tense and he was leaning back in his seat looking towards the ceiling.

The captain had to call the senior cabin crew member to restrain the co-pilot and he then diverted the aircraft to Manchester Airport. An 'able-bodied' passenger was chosen to wait outside the cockpit ready to assist if necessary, said the AAIB report into the incident on August 5 last year.

The aircraft landed safely and the co-pilot was taken to hospital where he was released three hours later.

He has not previously suffered any symptoms that might have alerted him or his colleagues to the possibility of a seizure, said the report.
It concluded that this was a 'serious incident' which was 'professionally managed' by the captain and cabin crew.

Flybe chief operating officer Luke Farajallah said: "All airlines train their crew to be prepared for all possible incidents including, however rare, that of a pilot becoming incapacitated during flight.

"The report duly recognises that the crew immediately and efficiently implemented the required precautionary procedures necessary to ensure the continued safe operation of the aircraft and the flight landed safely without further incident.

"Flybe crews are highly trained professionals and such procedures are reinforced on a regular basis with the safety of its passengers and crew remaining its highest priority at all times."


The airline did not say whether the co-pilot is still flying with the airline.

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