Pilot dies mid-flight, co-pilot lands plane

American Airlines flight makes emergency landing
Medical emergencies are rare on flights, but hardly ever do they involve the pilot. In the case of an American Airlines flight from Phoenix to Boston yesterday, the pilot tragically died leaving the co-pilot to make an emergency landing in Syracuse in upstate New York.
The exact cause of death has not been given, but an autopsy and preliminary toxicology tests “showed that the death was the result of natural diseases”.
The Airbus A320 with 147 passengers and five crew was operated by US Airways, which is now part of American.
“Medical emergency, captain is incapacitated,” was the message from the cockpit to air traffic control. “Request handling for runway.” Flight 550 then made a rapid descent to Syracuse, where it landed safely.


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