B763, en-route, Atlantic Ocean, 2008

Summary: 

On 28 January 2008, the first officer on a B767, flying from Toronto to London, became incapacitated and the captain elected to divert to the nearest airport, Shannon, Ireland.

Event Details
When: 
28/01/2008
Event Type: 
Day/Night: 
Night
Flight Conditions: 
Not Recorded

18703

Flight Details
Aircraft: 
Operator: 
Type of Flight: 
Public Transport (Passenger)
Intended Destination: 
Actual Destination: 
Take-off Commenced: 
Yes
Flight Airborne: 
Yes
Flight Completed: 
Yes
Phase of Flight: 
Cruise
Location
Approx.: 
Oceanic Reporting Point MALOT
HF
Tag(s): 
Flight Crew Incapacitation
EPR
Tag(s): 
PAN declaration
Outcome
Damage or injury: 
Yes
Aircraft damage: 
None
Non-aircraft damage: 
Yes
Non-occupant Casualties: 
No
Occupant Injuries: 
None
Occupant Fatalities: 
None
Off Airport Landing: 
Yes
Ditching: 
Yes
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s): 
Aircraft Operation
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s): 
None Made
Investigation Type
Type: 
Independent

Description

On 28 January 2008, the first officer on a B767 Series, flying from Toronto to London, became incapacitated and the captain elected to divert to the nearest airport, Shannon, Ireland.

Synopsis

The following is an extract from the official AAIU (Ireland) report into the event:

"...When the First Officer reported for duty he was undoubtedly under considerable pressure, reporting after [his] positioning flight later than planned. The Commander however had the situation very much in hand with the flight planning and pre-flight duties taken care of. On his arrival on the flight deck, he made this known to his First Officer and set a good tone prior to commencing the flight. During the cruise the Commander became aware all was not well with his colleague. He suggested he take a break, not only for his immediate well-being, but considering the high workload in London airspace and expected Autoland approach. The situation continued to deteriorate and it soon became apparent that the First Officer was quite ill. For his own well-being and the safety of the aircraft, the most appropriate course of action was to stand him down from duty and seek medical attention which was available on board. The decision to divert to the nearest suitable Aerodrome was prudent."

The first officer was kept in hospital in Ireland for 11 days before returning to Canada on an aeromedical evacuation flight.

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