Off-Duty Pilot Helps Land Lufthansa Boeing 747 at Dublin

Lufthansa Boeing 747

Lufthansa Boeing 747

An off-duty airline pilot assisted the Captain of a Lufthansa 747 land at Dublin on Monday when the first officer became incapacitated.

Lufthansa Flight 403, originally scheduled to fly from Newark (New Jersey) to Frankfurt (Main), diverted when the first officer became ill. A passenger, who is a qualified airline pilot, assisted the Captain with landing procedures to Dublin.

‘A Lufthansa spokeswoman said the man who stepped in was fully licensed to operate and fly the 747. “In such circumstances it’s absolutely normal procedure for the pilot, the flight captain, to continue to operate the aircraft,” she said. “Also, where necessary, the cabin crew are fully trained and can be called upon to read checklists back to the pilot. The procedures are in place for such an eventuality.”‘

The flight landed safely at Dublin and there were no other injuries reported.

The first officer is expected to be ok.



  1. Humphrey says

    What if it happened to a U.S. airliner? Either the Captain would have landed the airplane alone, with the sick F/O strapped to his seat, (which of course, he’s trained to do, even though he might have been tired after the long flight, thus endangering the operation), or he’d now be prosecuted for allowing a non crew member to enter the cockpit and to sit in a pilot’s seat.
    Pilot’s are not criminals, ,we just do our job…despite the crooked regulators and bean counters.

  2. Shawn White says

    I’m so thankful the cabin crew know how to read a checklist! They are now fully trained as first officers! Whether or not they understand a word on the checklist is a different question.

  3. Capt. Alberto Montezuma says

    Pilot incapacitation procedures are in place in all airlines, some flights carry augmented crews, long haul flights carry two sets of crews. Company pilots often travel as passengers, and it is normal that they could take another crew memeberĀ“s seat in case of need. What really surprises me is when the article ends with “no injuries reported…” Why would anybody be injured if the flight is normal?

    • Lee Ferrara says

      In a news piece where any kind of incident occurs, we note whether or not any injuries occur as a matter of course.

  4. Gear puller says

    Humphrey, you imply that you are a pilot yet you don’t seem to know about CASS. (a big hmmmm) Non company pilots routinely ride in the flight deck in the US.

  5. JENNIFER says

    I wonder!

    This is Hollywood stuff to us Europeans but I have always understood that the mainline carriers always have a ‘ghost’ passenger that is qualified to intercede in case of flight emergencies and that there is always a qualified medical doctor on board.

    Also, is not the door to the flight deck no longer accessible to anyone from the cabin? Is the single competant pilot authorised or even capable of opening that door?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *