Delta may not be running passenger flights on the Boeing 777, but continues to run cargo flights, including on some unusual routes. One flight, however, made a very unusual landing after a pilot became incapacitated.
Last Thursday, Delta 3343, operating a cargo sector from Frankfurt (FRA) to Chicago (ORD), was traveling at 40,000 feet over New Brunswick, Canada when the first officer suddenly became incapacitated.
Even on Delta cargo flights there is an extra relief pilot onboard. The captain summoned the relief pilot. Together they tended to the incapacitated first officer, providing first aid and eventually utilizing an external defibrillator. The first officer was stabilized.
Moncton, New Brunswick (YQM) was the closest major airport and the flight diverted so that the first officer could be taken to a hospital. Upon landing, the first officer was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment. The condition of the first officer is still unknown.
The 777-200 was registered under N702DN. Note the rapid descent.
I am thankful that an external defibrillator was onboard…it may have saved the first officer’s life. It’s also worth noting that Delta 777s continue to operate in a cargo capacity, which suggests Delta will have little trouble selling its fleet later in the year. With Delta cancelling the acquisition of some A350s today, perhaps some 777s may even stick around…