Southwest Flight Forced to Land When Pilot Becomes Ill After Takeoff

A Southwest Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Columbus, Ohio was forced to make an emergency landing back in Las Vegas after the pilot fell ill shortly after takeoff. The incident occurred on Wednesday morning, causing panic among the passengers.

An off-duty pilot from another airline who happened to be onboard quickly jumped into action and helped assist the co-pilot in safely landing the plane back in Las Vegas. The identity of the ill pilot has not been revealed, but reports indicate that they were taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Passengers on board described a chaotic scene as they realized something was wrong with their pilot. "We were just taking off and all of a sudden we heard screaming coming from the cockpit," said one passenger. "It was really scary."

Southwest Airlines released a statement thanking the off-duty pilot for their assistance and reassuring customers that safety is their top priority. "We are grateful for our employees' professionalism and swift response during this medical emergency," read the statement.

The incident serves as a reminder of how important it is to have trained professionals ready to step up in times of crisis. Despite being shaken by what happened, passengers expressed gratitude towards both pilots for ultimately ensuring everyone's safety.

"I'm just glad everything turned out okay," said one relieved passenger upon disembarking from the plane.

Adriana Diaz reporting live from Las Vegas for CBS News.