RISK: Two U.S. planes divert after pilots become ill

Aviation experts said there was never any danger to passengers

On Tuesday, a United Airlines flight from Houston to San Francisco diverted to Albuquerque, New Mexico, after the co-pilot passed out.

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The plane landed without incident around 8:20 a.m. Albuquerque airport spokesperson Dan Jiron says the co-pilot regained consciousness and was able to walk off the plane to be transported to a hospital.

And on Monday, an American Airlines captain became gravely ill while flying from Phoenix to Boston. The co-pilot safely landed the plane in Syracuse, N.Y., and the captain later died.

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Aviation experts said there was never any danger to passengers because pilots and co-pilots are equally capable of flying.

Ex-airline pilot John Cox, an aviation safety consultant, said when one pilot becomes unable to fly the other will rely on help from the plane’s automated systems and get priority treatment from air traffic controllers.

 

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Transcontinental Media G.P.