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American Airlines Captain Dies Mid-Flight While Piloting Plane Full Of Passengers

Mon, October 5, 2015 4:52pm EDT by 2 Comments
American Airlines Pilot Dies
Courtesy of American Airlines

The more-than 150 people onboard American Airlines Flight 550 are thankful to be on solid ground. The plane’s pilot died suddenly in the middle of the Oct. 5 flight, leaving the co-pilot to quickly take over and save the plane from crashing!

This is the stuff of nightmares. The people onboard American Airlines Flight 550 may never fly again after they realized how close they came to death. While the plane was soaring high in the sky, the pilot of the A320 airbus became ill before suddenly dying! The jet descended sharply, but after some quick thinking, the co-pilot was able keep the plane airborne in time to make a safe landing!

The pilot, a 57-year-old male whose name has not yet been released, became sick and “incapacitated” during the Oct. 5 flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Boston, Massachusetts, reports the Daily Mail. While a flight attendant, a former nurse, attempted to revive the pilot, the first officer took control of the plane. Sadly, the nurse’s attempts were unsuccessful, and the pilot was reported dead.

The co-pilot also reportedly sent panicked radio message for emergency permission to land. “A medical emergency. Captain is incapacitated,” the pilot reportedly said, reports CBS News. “Request handling for runway one zero landing.”

Thankfully, the first officer managed to land the plane and all 147 passengers safely in Syracuse, New York. Passengers on Flight 550 reportedly said there was a quick descent, but the plane stabilized after a little turbulence. A member of the crew then announced that the captain “wasn’t feeling well.” The passengers reported that the co-pilot remained calm and collected during the entire time.

American Airlines released a statement to that said, “Unfortunately, our captain passed away. We are incredible saddened by this event, and we are focused on caring for his family and our colleagues.” The airlines also noted that they took care of their passengers and they safely made it to Boston.

Our thoughts and support go out to the late pilot’s family and friends. We are glad that the co-pilot was able to save the plane and that everyone is safe and sound.

— Jason Brow