Tuesday, 6 October 2015

American Airlines Pilot Suddenly Died While Flying Plane With 152 Passengers Onboard

An American Airlines pilot on Monday died suddenly during a red-eye flight, leaving the plane's first officer to make an emergency landing, Fox News says.

Early Tuesday, American Airlines formally identified the pilot as Captain Michael Johnston, 57. 

A statement from the airline said Johnson had broken into the commercial aviation industry as a first officer for America West Airlines in 1990. The statement did not specify how Johnston had died.

The Airbus 320 with 152 passengers on board, was en-route from Phoenix to Boston and had to be diverted to Syracuse. Before the flight landed there, the first officer called the airport tower and said "American 550. Medical emergency. Captain is incapacitated." 

The scenario is rare, but not unheard of. Seven pilots for U.S. airlines and one charter pilot have died during flights since 1994, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

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