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Qantas 763 pilot collapses midway Nagoya - Cairns

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  • Qantas 763 pilot collapses midway Nagoya - Cairns

    AJ, you wouldn't happen to know this guy?

    Glad it was just gastro! Must suck having to use the can every 15 minutes while trying to fly a plane!

  • #2
    No, that flight was operated by the then Qantas subsidiary Australian Airlines.

    Some media reports have exaggerated the risks of the F/O getting out of his seat but it was the only option. The actual report is here:


    • #3
      Yeah, they were at cruise, given the situation it def wasnt the worse thing happening...

      Whats the deal if 1 pilot gets incapacitated anyway, when is it ok or not ok to proceed?


      • #4
        Some answer to this question,
        - when AUG 1990
        - route to be flown FRA-ORD
        - aircraft : DC.10-30, D-ADFO
        - airline Lufthansa

        The big Ten was close to GLA while en route to ORD when fuel damps were activated
        We get advised the Captain developped an illness at the office
        We are advised soon afterwards that a diversion is underway
        London was at time considered, but transfer of us to flights from there soon proved impossible in terms of sufficient seat avialabilities, Foxrott-Oscar, was itself filled to capacity
        Some house's logics soon prevailed and culminated into a return to FRA under the F/O's care
        Thanks for visiting
        *Avimage's Monthly Slide list *


        • #5
          We train for the Captain to expire just before V1 with an engine failure so in cruise is very straight forward.

          The fact he collapsed blocking the door left the FO with no option but to move him.

          Technically the aircraft is then below it's minimum operating crew so a PAN must be declared and a suitable airport found. The risk of diverting into unfamiliar Momote or Port Moresby is unacceptable whilst single pilot so heading on to home port was a very wise decision.


          • #6
            Hey AJ. Does Qantas use Medlink? AC's procedures are pretty well identical to QF's (PAN etc) and a diversion would occur if the medical condition of the Capt (or any passenger) was severe enough to require hospitalization ASAP.


            • #7
              Yes, they do.

              However, the considerations for diversion when a flight crew member is sick are completely different than the considerations when a passenger is ill.

              When a pax is ill, the appropriate decision is made relative to their illness, and if they need to be on the ground ASAP at an airport that is both appropriate from a medical and operational point of view.

              When a flight crew member is incapacitated, the decision depends both on their medical condition and the crew compliment.

              On a 2 pilot crew, the aircraft is immediately below the minimum operating crew numbers as per the Flight Manual, so as AJ says their is a Pan call, and a decision to divert to the nearest "practical" airport would be made.

              Single pilot is hard work, and so you wouldn't be diverting, as AJ says, to Momote or Ujung! All factors would be considered including navaids, approach types (Wouldn't want to be really trying a difficult NDB with circling to an unfamiliar airport with a short runway!) weather, etc. In this case Cairns was the nearest and best practical airport, so thats where the F/O decided to go.

              In the case of an aircraft with say 3 or 4 pilots, if it was a crewmember other than the captain that was ill, then of course it is more of a medical decision that needs to be made, as continued flight without him is safe.

              It is also a required PAN call anytime the PIC is incapacitated.


              • #8
                Also, it seems in this case the captain was able to recover enough to regain his seat and duties before landing...


                • #9
                  PAN is just a radio declaration like "Mayday" correct?


                  • #10
                    Well thank goodness it wasn't near as bad as it could have been!



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Crunk415balla
                      PAN is just a radio declaration like "Mayday" correct?
                      Yup, though PAN is different in that there is no immediate or obviously imminent danger to lives or the aircraft.


                      • #12
                        Okay, thank you.