Published: Fri, March 31, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

American Airlines pilot dies after medical episode on flight

American Airlines pilot dies after medical episode on flight

CNN reports that the co-pilot of American flight 1353 became incapacitated just miles before the plane was to begin its final descent to Albuquerque's Sunport Airport around 3:30 p.m.

The first officer has been identified as William "Mike" Grubbs.

The flight was on its way from Dallas Fort-Worth to Albuquerque in New Mexico.

American Airline Flight 1353, a Boeing 737-800 flying from Dallas-Fort to Albuquerque was almost 2 miles away from landing when the captain declared an emergency landing, with "a medical issue" aboard, according to a Federal Administration spokeperson.

American Airlines issued a statement, saying it was "deeply saddened" by Grubbs death, per CNN. He was married and was the father of a son, who will graduate from college in May, according to the airline.

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The flight was safely diverted by the co-pilot to Syracuse, New York.

In 2015, a pilot died after falling ill during an overnight flight from Phoenix to Boston. In most cases, the other pilot in the cockpit has been able to land the plane without further incident.

The flight was less than 10 minutes from landing when the captain called in the emergency.

Pilots must pass regular medical exams.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed it would examine the case.

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