17 Jun 2012

Flight returned to LA after pilot ill

2:06 pm on 17 June 2012

An Air New Zealand flight to Auckland returned to Los Angeles on Saturday night (NZT) after one of the pilots became unwell.

The Boeing 777-300 aircraft had 316 passengers on board. It was forced to turn around about two hours into the flight after the pilot became unwell.

Passengers have told friends in New Zealand via Facebook that the pilot had a heart attack.

The airline says Flight NZ1 was being operated by three pilots so the flight deck remained fully staffed at all times and the unwell pilot was attended to by a doctor on board.

Passengers were put up in a hotel overnight and will leave Los Angeles for Auckland on Sunday afternoon (NZT).