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Southwest Airlines flight returns to airport after pilot becomes ill

Southwest pilot becomes ill shortly after takeoff
Southwest flight forced to land when pilot becomes ill after takeoff 01:45

A Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio returned to Las Vegas Wednesday morning after one of its pilots became ill, the carrier and Federal Aviation Administration say. A pilot from another airline who happened to be on board stepped up to help the second Southwest pilot in the cockpit, the airline says.

According to the FAA, Southwest Airlines Flight 6013 "landed without incident at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas around 8 a.m. local time ... after one of the pilots became ill after departure." It was on its way to John Glenn Columbus International Airport.

"A credentialed pilot from another airline, who was on board, entered the flight deck and assisted with radio communication while our Southwest pilot flew the aircraft. We greatly appreciate their support and assistance," Southwest said, adding that another crew then flew the plane to Columbus.

'We commend the crew for their professionalism and appreciate our customers' patience and understanding regarding the situation," Southwest said.

There was no word on the condition of the Southwest pilot or the nature of his or her medical issue.

The FAA is investigating.  

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