Pilot dies after forced emergency landing at Boise airport
Airlines flight bound from Seattle made an emergency landing Thursday after the
pilot suffered a heart attack. An airline spokesperson confirmed Friday that the
crew member has died, NBC's Tom Costello reports.
By Matthew DeLuca,
Staff Writer, NBC News
A pilot suffered an apparent heart attack in
midair aboard a United Airlines flight to Seattle on Thursday evening, and later
died after the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Boise, Idaho, a
hospital spokeswoman told NBC News.
A doctor and military personnel
reportedly attempted to save the pilot’s life by administering CPR amid a
dramatic scene, as another passenger rushed to help get the plane safely to the
The spokeswoman at Saint Alphonsus Hospital in Boise confirmed
the pilot’s death on Friday morning. United Airlines spokeswoman Christen David
said that the flight’s captain was the individual involved in an email to NBC
The pilot was alive when he arrived at the local hospital but died
during the night while being treated, hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Krajnik told
the Associated Press.
“I am sad to confirm that our co-worker passed away
last night,” David said. “Our thoughts are with his family at this
Boise Airport spokeswoman Patti Miller told Reuters that the
airport received a call “at about 7:55 p.m. Mountain Time declaring an
emergency, they said the pilot had had a heart attack.” The plane landed less
than fifteen minutes later, Miller told the news service.
board the flight from Houston to Seattle said a doctor on board helped the
patient, and the co-pilot was heard telling air traffic controllers that chest
compressions were performed on the individual.
Passengers said two army
soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord on the flight assisted the doctor in
attempting to treat the patient before the arrival of first responders, NBC News
Seattle affiliate King 5 reported. A passenger who trains Boeing 737 pilots
aided the copilot as the plane made the emergency landing in Boise after the
unconscious pilot was removed from the cockpit, passengers said, according to
“United flight 1603 from Houston to Seattle diverted to
Boise, Idaho, tonight when a crew member experienced a medical emergency,”
United Airlines said in a statement Thursday night. “The flight landed safely,
and paramedics met the plane upon arrival and transported the crew member to the
hospital. We are working to re-accommodate customers as soon as
The airport spokeswoman told Reuters that the plane’s
passengers got off the plane and waited for another pilot to take over the
flight. The flight landed in Seattle just after midnight local time.
737 had 161 passengers and six crew members on board. The name of the pilot has
not been released.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this
This story was originally published on Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:40 AM