A pilot decided to dump 30 tons of fuel mid-air to enable a safe emergency landing and save a passenger’s life.
The China Eastern Airlines flight was headed to New York from Shanghai, China, Friday night when a 60-year-old unnamed woman began having trouble breathing, Asia One reported.
The air crew onboard tried to help the woman and transferred her from economy to business class to better perform first aid, The Straits Times reported. There the woman started slipping into a state of unconsciousness, according to the publication.
The pilot, Gu Jian, decided the woman, who was traveling with her daughter, needed more medical attention than she could receive onboard and discharged tons of fuel in-flight so it would be light enough to land at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska.
"The airplane's weight was 282 tons, far more than the maximum landing weight," Jian explained to CGTN. "When the sick passenger needed medical attention for safety reasons, the plane had to descend and dump gasoline at the same time."
The woman was removed from the plane and rushed to a hospital in Alaska.
The plane refueled at the Anchorage airport and then resumed its flight for New York, where it landed safely after a six-hour delay.
According to reports, the woman was later discharged from the hospital and she and her daughter continued on their trip the next morning.