What happens when both pilots are unresponsive?

7 January 2020, 12:26

A member of cabin crew and a pilot explained the protocol.
A member of cabin crew and a pilot explain the protocol. Picture: PA

It's every nervous flyer's worst nightmare... what happens when nobody is responding in the cockpit?

Mystery Hour Question

What happens when both the pilot and the co-pilot are unresponsive and there is no pilot among the passengers?

Ryan, Bristol.


Names: Sharif, Uxbridge and Barry, Saffron Walden

Qualifications: Cabin crew and Pilot, respectively.

Answer: Sharif said that if both pilots were incapacitated, it would be down to a member of cabin crew to step in and fly the plane by following instructions from air traffic control. Barry established that there is actually no written protocol for this scenario, but agreed that it would be down to other crew members to land the plane. Barry also shed light on the precautions which pilots take to avoid this happening, including eating different meals to each other to avoid falling ill from food.