Indigo A320 near Bhubaneswar on Apr 27th 2017, first officer incapacitated
Last Update: May 18, 2018 / 13:37:19 GMT/Zulu time
The occurrence aircraft remained on the ground for about 2.5 hours, then continued the flight and reached Hyderabad with a total delay of about 4 hours (the aircraft had departed Kolkata with a delay of 1.5 hours already).
The airline confirmed the occurrence on Apr 27th. India's AAIB is investigating the occurrence.
On May 18th 2018 India's AAIB released their final report concluding the probable cause of the incident was:
The pilot incapacitation during flight was most probably caused due an
episode of seizure.
Te AAIB reported the first officer (31, CPL, 1,527 hours total, 1,327 hours on type) had suffered mild throat irritation prior to departure for the first leg of the day. The first officer flew the landing of the first leg (deparate was flown by the captain (27, ATPL, 4,752 hours total) due to weather) and performed the takeoff for the incident flight. Until about 35 minutes into the flight everything went normal. The first officer then attempted to drink some water, however, "it came out". Another attempt again ended with the same result, the first officer was unable to drink water, the irritations in the throat increased and his hands and feet became stiff. About 2-3 minutes later the first officer suffered blurred vision and became unconscious. Two flight attendants entered the cockpit to assist the first officer, his seat was reclined, oxygen was administed via the quick don oxygen masks, the flight attendants noticed blood was coming from the first officer's mouth. The flight attendants paged for doctor on board with no passenger responding, the captain declared Mayday and initiated the diversion to Bhubaneswar. About 10 minutes after becoming unconscious the first officer recovered, the captain instructed the first officer to take a rest in his seat remaining reclined and breath oxygen through the mask. After landing the first officer was taken to the medical facility at the airport by medical services.
The AAIB reported: "At the airport he was examined by airport doctor, who gave symptomatic treatment and provisionally diagnosed him as a case of hypertension, haemetemesis. He was advised clinical investigations for further evaluation. Thereafter the first officer was taken to Apollo Hospital, Bhubaneswar where he was administered I/V fluids and was diagnosed as a case of ? Seizure. He was referred to Department of Neurology for further evaluation and management. He was evaluated by a Neurologist at a Private hospital in Noida. During evaluation, EEG was normal, CEMRI brain was normal. Incidentally he was detected having Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D deficiency. Ultrasound (abdomen and pelvis) showed cholelithiasis and sludge and cystitis with significant post void residue. The first officer underwent optical urethrotomy on 02.09.2017 and laparoscopic cholecystectomy on 11.10.2017. Further, he was evaluated at AFCME, New Delhi. After evaluation he was recommended temporary unfit for 04 weeks on account of loss of consciousness under investigation; cholelithiasis operated; Stricture urethra operated; and vitamin B12 & vitamin D deficiency. He was advised review with opinion of neurologist, cardiologist, urologist and GI surgeon along with 2D ECHO, TMT and holter reports."
The AAIB analysed:
The Committee deliberated on following evidences/ circumstances
a) Though there was no classical aura, but the first officer had throat irritation just prior to tonic phase of seizure.
b) The first officer had tonic clonic seizure (Stiffening of hands and feet, eyes open and fixed with shaking movement of body) and bleeding from the side of the mouth (? tongue bite). The episode lasted for approximately 10 minutes.
c) The seizure was followed by post ictal phase of confusion.
d) The first officer was physically fit, had adequate and sound sleep, had his meals (breakfast & lunch), had flown only one sector (Delhi-Kolkata) and was in a sitting posture prior to the episode.
The above evidences are in favor of diagnosis of seizure.
This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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