Friday, September 27, 2013

Pilot dies after forced emergency landing at Boise airport
A United 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 ground.

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 News.

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 time.”

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.

Passengers on 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 the station.

“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 possible.”

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.

The 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 report.

This story was originally published on Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:40 AM EDT.

No comments: