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A flight attendant on board an American Airlines Boeing 767 who had an expired pilot’s license had to assist and take over for a sick co-pilot. The flight attendant then helped to land the AA Boeing 767 at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The Boeing 767 was flying from San Francisco to Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport when the co-pilot became ill with a stomach bug. Help was requested from the flight deck from any passengers with a pilot’s license. Flight attendant Patti DeLuna, stepped forward as she was a commercial pilot in the past, and took over for the ailing first officer – The flight’s purser also had flight experience, but the captain eventually chose DeLuna. DeLuna’s first question to the captain was, ‘Where are the brakes?'” According to media reports, Patti DeLuna, has been a flight attendant for 32 years, had a commercial pilot’s certificate in 1970, and has about 300 flight-hours flying a small Cessna but had not flown since for about 20 years. The plane, carrying 225 passengers and 7 crew, landed safely at Chicago O’Hare. The sick co-pilot was taken to hospital, treated and released. An American Airlines spokesman said the Boeing 767 can be flown by only one pilot if required and is actually so sophisticated it can even land itself thanks to the Auto-Land system.

Some Background about the Boeing 767

The Boeing 767 is a midsize, long-range, wide-body twin-engine aircraft. The B767 has two turbofan engines and can seat 181 to 375 persons depending on configuration. The 767 is designed to fly between 3,850 to 6,385 nautical miles (7,130 to 11,825 km), depending on the variant, as there are extended-range models also. Some of the 767 design details are shared with the 757.

The 767 is one aircraft that I have not really traveled much on. In the 1990s I did travel a lot on the 757 with Britannia Airways to Florida but the 767 is a lovely aircraft and there are still a few of them still flying.