First Officer Passes Out Midair; EL AL Flight 289 makes Emergency Landing in Croatia

Saturday, May 17, 2014
By George Hatcher

EL ALEL AL flight 289, en route from Tel Aviv to Venice, had to make an emergency landing in Dubrovnik, Croatia, after its first officer fell ill mid air.

The plane departed from Tel Aviv at around 6 a.m. on May 15. After about 2 hours, the first officer went to use the bathroom and upon returning, told the captain that he was not feeling well. The captain informed the first flight attendant, and was searching for the nearby airports to make an emergency landing, when the first officer passed out. A doctor who was on board among the passengers gave him medical treatment during the flight.

The captain successfully made a safe emergency landing in Dubrovnik, where the first officer was taken to a hospital.

The airline later issued a statement confirming the incident.

“El Al flight 289 from Tel Aviv to Venice, with 98 passengers on board, landed in Dubrovnik after the first officer fell ill during the flight and was unable to fulfil his duties,” maintained the airline.

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