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Unclear why pilot lost consciousness during flight from LAX

An Alaska Airlines spokesman said officials do not know what caused one of the carrier's pilots to briefly lose consciousness during a flight Thursday night, forcing an emergency landing.

The pilot lost consciousness during a flight from Los Angeles International Airport to Seattle, which was diverted safely to Portland International Airport, airport spokesman Steve Johnson told The Times. Flight 473 landed without incident around 9 p.m., said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Los Angeles.

Paul McElroy, an Alaska Airlines spokesman, told the Oregonian newspaper that the 28-year veteran pilot passed out on the flight deck but soon regained consciousness. He was helped to the main cabin and treated by doctor who was among the passengers.

McElroy told the newspaper that a similar incident occurred on Jan. 22 during a flight from Seattle to Las Vegas, when the first officer lost consciousness.

"We're confident these two cases are unrelated," he said. "Just a really bizarre coincidence."


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