'Belligerent' First Officer Was Removed From Cockpit
Back in January,
ANN reported on what had to be a scary event
for the crew of a trans-Atlantic Air Canada flight. At the time,
little information was released, but Agence-France Presse has
published new details from a report by the Irish transport
The Boeing 767 was headed from London to Toronto with 146
passengers and a crew of nine on January 28. The captain told
investigators his first officer arrived late for the flight, and
looked, "quite harried." Out over the Atlantic Ocean, the FO
repeatedly complained he was "very tired," and the captain
suggested he take a break.
The report says that as the flight approached the mid-Atlantic,
the co-pilot, "began conversation which was rambling and disjointed
in nature and not at all in character, as the commander knew him to
be an outgoing and talkative person."
The man then, "became belligerent and uncooperative which
convinced the commander he was now dealing with a crew member who
was effectively incapacitated." When ordered to secure his seat
belt, he was described as "unresponsive."
Other crew members removed the man from the controls, and he was
cared for by British and Canadian doctors on board. They described
his condition as "confused and disorientated." The captain diverted
to Ireland, and a flight attendant with a commercial pilot's
licence took the right seat.
Irish air accident investigator Leo Murray praised the captain
for his "tact and understanding" in handling the situation. The
identities of that captain, and his stricken co-pilot, have never
been released. The first officer was treated in an Irish hospital
for 11 days following the incident.
Air Canada stressed at the time that passenger safety was never