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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

British Airways Pilot on NY flight to London left the cabin to be SICK leaving captain to land the plane on his own

A British Airways pilot was forced to run to the toilet to be sick as an overnight flight from New York approached Heathrow for landing, it has been revealed.

The Captain of the Boeing 747 was required to follow emergency safety procedures before landing the plane normally following his co-pilot's bout of sudden illness.

The news comes a week after the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) revealed a poll of 500 pilots showed six out of 10 said they had fallen asleep in the cockpit.

Of those, almost one in three said they woke to find the other pilot was also asleep. And one in six had been in the cockpit when both flight crew were asleep.

And on Saturday it was reported how a pilot confessed he and his first officer fell asleep while flying a freight plane, waking minutes before they were due to land.

The latest incident is believed to have taken place after the pilot suffered food poisoning, The Sun has reported.

BA told the paper the pilot was sick in the toilet next to the door of the cockpit.

A BA spokesman told MailOnline: 'This incident happened in March 2012, when the Captain followed the correct safety procedures and landed the plane normally at Heathrow after his co-pilot fell ill towards the end of the overnight flight from New York.'

British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said the co-pilot appeared to have done an 'exemplary job' after bringing the aircraft in safely.

A BALPA spokesman told MailOnline: 'Events like these are fortunately rare, but they show the professionalism and skill of pilots when they do.

'The workload for a single pilot landing an aircraft on his or her own is tremendous and he appears to have done an exemplary job in this case.

'Making every flight a safe flight is the aim of BALPA and our members and we will always put the safety of the travelling public first.'

British pilots were yesterday celebrating after a key EU transport committee of MEPs rejected plans to impose controversial new flight time rules which they believe were unsafe.

Pilots claim the proposed changes to flying hours and rostered rest periods will put lives at risk by increasing the chances of fatigued fliers falling asleep in the cockpits of packed passenger planes. 

The proposals still face further votes in coming weeks by the full European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, in which British ministers have a voice.

The rules must be backed by both votes to go ahead but air transport experts believe the rejection by the EU’s Transport and Tourism Select Committee – by 20 votes to 13 – increases the chances of the new rules being kicked out.

BALPA hailed the committee’s rejection as a ‘vote for common sense’ and called on the British Government and MEPs ‘to act to protect the safety of our skies'.

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