Co-pilot lands American Airlines plane after pilot dies during flight

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October 5, 2015

SYRACUSE – The co-pilot of an American Airlines flight landed the plane Monday morning after the pilot died during the trip, according to an airline official.

In this Nov. 21, 2013 file photo, an American Airlines jet takes off from Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport.

October 5, 2015

SYRACUSE – The co-pilot of an American Airlines flight landed the plane Monday morning after the pilot died during the trip, according to an airline official.

In this Nov. 21, 2013 file photo, an American Airlines jet takes off from Washington's Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Flight 550 had 147 passengers and five crew members — including the pilot and co-pilot — on board when it left Phoenix late Sunday night for Boston.

After the pilot became ill, the plane was diverted to Syracuse, a company spokeswoman said Monday. The airline spokeswoman said she could not comment on the pilot’s illness or cause of death.

“We’re incredibly saddened by this event and we’re focused on caring for this pilot’s family and colleagues,” Michelle Mohr, the American spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview Monday.

An airline official said the pilot died during the flight. The official added that the two pilots in the cockpit were equally trained.

The plane was diverted to Syracuse shortly after 7 a.m., Mohr said. A different crew was brought in to take the passengers from Syracuse on to Boston, where they arrived early Monday afternoon.


Courtesy: Washington Post