GAINESVILLE, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - A pilot suffered a seizure while mid-flight. The emergency in the cock-pit forced the crew to land the plane in Gainesville.
The pilot could no longer safely finish flying to their final destination, so the co-pilot took over while emergency responders got ready for the plane to make an emergency landing on the runway.
There were 155 passengers and six crew members on board an Allegiant flight from Cincinnati to Punta Gorda Thursday morning when trouble struck. The pilot overcome by a seizure and the crew making an emergency decision to land the plane.
The closest runway in Gainesville, Florida. The co-pilot took control of the Airbus 320 and safely landed the plane at the Gainesville Regional Airport. Gainesville Fire Rescue was already in position to provide medical assistance.
“Anytime there is an air emergency, Gainesville Fire Rescue takes that very seriously,” District Chief Don Campbell said. “We had all of our units that normally would deploy to an air emergency ready to go.”
It was a long morning for the passengers and crew, but they were able to continue onto Punta Gorda by the afternoon.
Allegiant is not releasing the name of the pilot, but said he was able to walk off of the aircraft on his own and is expected to be ok. Allegiant said the pilot is in stable condition recovering at a local hospital.