Co-pilot Samir Malhotra stepped in to take control of Jet Airways flight 9W063 after declaring an emergency when captain Rajnish Malhotra  became sick during the flight from Bangkok. He was assisted by another Jet Airways pilot who happened to be travelling as a passenger.

A further stroke of good fortune ensured that the sick pilot was able to receive prompt medical attention from a doctor who was also a passenger on the flight.

It is not known how the captain’s health deteriorated, or what his current condition is, but a spokesman for Mumbai-based Jet Airways said he had been taken ill during the latter part of the flight.

“The captain was being looked after by a doctor that was travelling as a passenger on board the flight,” said the spokesman. “The first officer was assisted by another Jet Airways captain that was positioning as a passenger from Bangkok to Delhi.”

After landing safely the aircraft remained stranded on the tarmac until it could be towed away as Indian aviation rules do not allow first officers to taxi planes.