Off Duty Pilot Helps Out When Jet2 Boeing 757 Captain Falls Unwell

An off duty pilot yesterday helped out when the captain of a Jet2 Boeing 757 flight fell unwell. The flight was traveling from Manchester to Funchal, however, diverted to Porto when the pilot became incapacitated.

Jet2, Boeing 757, Pilot Unwell
A Jet2 Boeing 757 diverted to Porto after its captain fell ill. Photo: Mark Harkin via Flickr

Yesterday passengers traveling from Manchester to Funchal onboard Jet2’s flight LS765 were caught by surprise when the aircraft diverted to Porto. The reason for the diversion was that the flight’s captain became unwell. While unconfirmed by the airline, The Telegraph suggests that the pilot fainted at the controls of the Boeing 757 aircraft. Thankfully, the aircraft was landed without incident in Porto by the first officer.

Flight details

Jet2 flight 765 was due to fly nonstop from Manchester (MAN) in the United Kingdom to Funchal (FNC) on the Portuguese island of Madeira. The flight was due to depart from the UK’s third busiest airport at 07:05. Following the planned 3-hour 55-minute flight, the aircraft was due to touch down in Funchal at 11:00.

However, things didn’t get off to the best start yesterday, as the aircraft didn’t depart until 08:28 according to Flight Radar. This represents a delay of around one and a half hours. The aircraft was cruising at 36,000ft when it started to descend at around 10:00 local time. The Boeing 757 touched down in Porto around 25 minutes later at 10:26 local time.

Jet2, Boeing 757, Pilot Unwell
The aircraft’s path to Porto. The descent commenced at the point indicated on the map. Photo:

The reason for the diversion was the captain falling ill. Thankfully, the first officer was unaffected, and as such landed the aircraft. Jet2 told Simple Flying that this landing was accomplished using normal procedures.

According to The Aviation Herald, an off duty Jet2 pilot was onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident. They offered to help and were present at the flight deck for some time. However, Jet2 confirmed that it was the first officer who landed the plane.

It is possible that the off duty pilot looked after the Captain so that the first officer could focus on the flight. Unconfirmed reports from The Guardian suggest that a second passenger also went up to the flight deck.

Jet2, Boeing 757, Pilot Unwell
A replacement crew continued the flight to Funchal. Photo: Rob Hodgkins via Flickr

What happened in Porto?

Once the aircraft landed in Porto, the incapacitated pilot was taken off of the aircraft in a wheelchair whilst receiving supplemental oxygen. The pilot’s current condition was unclear at the time of writing.

Jet2 dispatched a replacement crew to Porto to continue the aircraft’s journey. The aircraft eventually arrived at its destination of Funchal at 22:26, almost 12 hours after its planned arrival. When contacted by Simple Flying, a representative of the airline said,

“Flight LS765 from Manchester to Funchal diverted to Porto as a precautionary measure yesterday, due to one of the pilots feeling unwell. A replacement aircraft and crew has since flown customers to Funchal.”

Were you onboard LS765? Let us know your experiences in the comments.