The first officer of a Virgin Australia flight from Adelaide to Perth reportedly had a heart attack just 30 minutes after takeoff, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.
The Airbus A320 was forced to return to Adelaide as a result of the event on March 3rd, where emergency personnel was ready to take the sick pilot to the hospital.
The Australian aviation accident investigation agency has released very few facts about the incident, however, according to the AVHerald, the First Officer lost consciousness after having a heart attack.
Some 70 minutes after the flight’s captain made the emergency declaration, the plane made a successful landing.
Although an ECG is only necessary for the initial medical and then at ages 25, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38, and 40, Australian aviation regulations nevertheless mandate that pilots undergo a yearly physical check.
A yearly ECG is recommended beyond the age of 40. Cardiovascular risk is also calculated as part of the medical process.