American Airlines Pilot Dies While Landing Plane in Albuquerque

By Paul Riegler on 29 March 2017
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An AA 737 in Dallas

An AA 737 in Dallas

In-flight medical emergencies do happen on a regular basis but it’s rare that they involve a pilot at the controls.

On Wednesday, an American Airlines pilot became incapacitated moments before the aircraft he was controlling would have landed.

The first officer, identified as William (Mike) Grubbs, became unresponsive during American Airlines Flight 1353’s final approach to Albuquerque International Sunport. The aircraft, a Boeing 737-800, en route from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, touched down safely with the captain at the controls after he declared an emergency two minutes before arrival.

“The captain radioed just before landing to report a medical emergency,” Daniel Jiron, a spokesman for the airport, told Frequent Business Traveler. “The aircraft was met by medical personnel and approximately 90 minutes later, the office of the medical investigator was called in.”

The plane had left the gate in Dallas at 2:51 p.m. local time and was wheels up at 3:05 p.m, according to FlightStats, a flight-tracking service. It was wheels down in Albuquerque at 3:33 p.m. local time after one hour and 46 minutes in the air.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Grubbs’ family during this difficult time,” the airline said in a statement.

Modern aircraft are designed to be safely operated by a single pilot to land in an emergency.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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