News reaching us from the United States has it that an American Airlines pilot died suddenly on board a flight from Phoenix to Boston forcing the plane to make an emergency landing in New York.
The shocking incident, which happened on Monday morning, left the passengers on board the plane totally puzzled as they initially didn’t know what was happening.
According to Michelle Mohr who is the spokeswoman for American Airlines, Flight 550 was instantly diverted from its route to Boston to the Syracuse Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York moments after the pilot became severely ill.
With the pilot becoming too ill to continue with his job, the flight’s first officer took over and told control tower at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport that they needed to have an emergency landing because their captain was incapacitated.
Fortunately for all the 147 passengers on board the plane, the flight’s first officer was able to safely land the plane at the Syracuse airport without any incident. This was approximately 7:15 AM local time.
The pilot, whose name hasn’t been released yet to the public, was examined by medical personnel at the airport shortly after the plane landed and pronounced dead.
The 147 passengers on board the flight were later flown to their destination – Boston by a replacement crew.
According to the passengers on board Flight 550, not until the plane landed at the Syracuse Hancock International Airport, they didn’t know exactly what was happening and that the pilot had died. Many praised American Airlines for handling the situation in a very professionally manner.
American Airlines is yet to release details of the medical emergency and the identity of the pilot who died. Since this is a developing story, we are following it closely and will keep our readers up to speed on further developments.
UPDATE: The identity of the pilot has finally been released by American Airlines. The pilot was a 57-year-old man named Michael Johnston from West Jordan, Utah. Captain Johnston’s widow Betty Jean Johnston said she was told by the coroner that her husband died of a heart attack.