Indigo A320 near Bhubaneswar on Apr 27th 2017, first officer incapacitated

Last Update: May 18, 2018 / 13:37:19 GMT/Zulu time

Bookmark this article
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 27, 2017

Classification
Incident

Flight number
6E-725

Destination
Hyderabad, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-IAR

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

An Indigo Airbus A320-200, registration VT-IAR performing flight 6E-725 from Kolkata to Hyderabad (India) with 180 passengers and 6 crew, was enroute at FL360 about 10nm west of Bhubaneswar when the captain decided to divert the aircraft to Bhubaneswar due to the first officer feeling unwell and becoming incapacitated. The aircraft landed safely on runway 14 about 19 minutes after leaving FL360.

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.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Apr 27, 2017

Classification
Incident

Flight number
6E-725

Destination
Hyderabad, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-IAR

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
Article source

You can read 2 more free articles without a subscription.

Subscribe now and continue reading without any limits!

Are you a subscriber? Login
Subscribe

Read unlimited articles and receive our daily update briefing. Gain better insights into what is happening in commercial aviation safety.

Free newsletter

Want to know more and stay ahead? Get our free weekly newsletter and join 5465 existing subscribers.

By subscribing, you accept our terms and conditions and confirm that you've read our privacy policy.

Send tip

Support AeroInside by sending a small tip amount.

Related articles

Newest articles

Subscribe today

Are you researching aviation incidents? Get access to AeroInside Insights, unlimited read access and receive the daily newsletter.

Pick your plan and subscribe

Partner

Blockaviation logo

A new way to document and demonstrate airworthiness compliance and aircraft value. Find out more.

Virtual Speech logo

ELITE Simulation Solutions is a leading global provider of Flight Simulation Training Devices, IFR training software as well as flight controls and related services. Find out more.

Get updates

Never miss an article from AeroInside. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and join 5465 existing subscribers.

By subscribing, you accept our terms and conditions and that you've read our privacy policy.

AeroInside Blog
Popular aircraft
Airbus A320
Boeing 737-800
Boeing 737-800 MAX
Popular airlines
American Airlines
United
Delta
Air Canada
Lufthansa
British Airways