Commercial pilot collapses during flight

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During a flight between Newcastle, in the United Kingdom, and Larnaca, Cyprus on Sunday, a pilot suddenly collapsed, leading the crew to fear that a terrorist act was underway.

According to reports, the pilot of Thomson Holiday Flight 1714 collapsed while in the cockpit after flying the plane 30,000 ft. into the air. Reports indicate “panic and fear spread throughout the cabin” as the crew began to collect oxygen cylinders to take into the cockpit.

One passenger said they saw the pilot “lying prostrate on the floor” just 16 minutes into the flight.

The flight out of Newcastle was diverted to Sofia, in Bulgaria, a quarter of an hour after the emergency was declared.

One eyewitness reported to the Sun: “It was terrifying. I glimpsed inside the cockpit door. There was coffee all over the floor and it looked like the guy had collapsed.”

He continued, “He was lying prostrate on the floor. It’s not what you want to see happening at the front of the plane.”

According to witnesses, after the emergency landing, the pilot was wheeled out of the cockpit and off the plane, then placed on a stretcher and taken to receive medical treatment at a hospital.

Some passengers were disturbed by the lack of information they received throughout the incident. Passenger Samantha Eaton tweeted: “What the hell is going on, diverted to Sofia, trying to get home to Larnaca! 24 hour helpline no help no flight info.”

Others expressed confusion about what had happened, where they were headed, and when they would be completing the journey.

Eventually, the passengers were taken safely to stay in a hotel Sunday night, waiting for a scheduled service from Bulgaria to Cyprus on Monday.

Thomson Airways confirmed the report, saying the following:

“We can confirm that as a result of one of our pilots feeling unwell, the decision was taken to divert the Newcastle to Larnaca, Cyprus flight last night.

“A priority landing was requested at Sofia, Bulgaria which was the closest airport and the pilot was taken to a nearby hospital to be assessed.

“We would like to thank all of our customers for their patience and we are working to get them on their holiday as quickly as possible.

“The welfare of all customers and crew traveling with us is our priority at all times.”

There was no update as to the pilot’s status at the time of this publication.

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