PORTLAND -- An Alaska Airlines flight bound for Seattle was diverted to Portland late Thursday night after its pilot passed out.
Alaska Airlines spokesperson Bobbie Egan told KGW in Portland that this was the second time a pilot lost consciousness due to the flu in 10 days. A pilot also passed out on January 22nd on Flight 606 from Seattle to Las Vegas, she told the station.
Thursday's Flight 473 was on its way from Los Angeles to Seattle.
The plane was on autopilot somewhere over Oregon when it happened. The first officer took over and diverted it to the nearest airport, which was Portland International Airport.
The plane landed safely around 9:00 p.m. Paramedics intercepted the plane on the runway and took the pilot to the hospital.
Alaska Airlines said the pilot passed out due to food poisoning or a flu-like virus. He has been flying for Alaska Airlines for 28 years. The co-pilot had 11 years of experience.
The Boeing 737-700 with 116 passengers and five crew members left Los Angeles about 6:30 p.m. Passengers didn’t arrive in Seattle until after 1 a.m.