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UA Pilot Suffers Heart Attack Mid-flight  
User currently offlineKBUF From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 528 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 17335 times:

Flight 1603 IAH-SEA. Diverted to BOI.

http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/Flig...ot-has-heart-attack-225451542.html

Hopefully the pilot will be all right.   


"Starting today, the Buffalo Sabres' reason for existence will be to win a Stanley Cup."-Terry Pegula, February 22, 2011
64 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineclickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9623 posts, RR: 68
Reply 1, posted (10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 17164 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

Hope the pilot is okay, Flightaware shows a pretty rapid decent. Must have been a wild ride.

User currently offline747megatop From United States of America, joined May 2007, 716 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (10 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 17148 times:

Hopefully the pilot is allright. Just a question though, if a pilot is hand flying the airplane and on final approach (very close to the runway) and this happens, is there enough time for the co-pilot to react and take over the controls? What is the process involved?

User currently offlineYXwatcherMKE From United States of America, joined May 2007, 986 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (10 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 16645 times:

My prayers go out to the Captain and his Family! Hopefully he/she has a rapid recovery. I was surprised how quickly they had the plane back in the air. Do they have a pilots domicile in Sea that they could get a pilot down to BOI that fast?


I miss the 60's & 70's when you felt like a guest on the plane not cattle like today
User currently offlinepeterjohns From Germany, joined Jan 2009, 202 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 16403 times:

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 2):

I have heard (know of ) of several incidents in the last few years , where one of the pilots became incapacitated.
Usualy it is no problem for one pilot to continue the flight alone.
In case of a heart attack, it usualy doesn´t happen from one second to another, but gives a pre warning ( pain, numbness) a few seconds ahead.
But remember the LH 320 which upon Take-off had the faulty sidestick commands (bank left/right swapped)? The Co-pilot had to take over within less than seconds- and did it.
Thats when the training kicks in and the hundreds of Sim sessions (call out "80"- no response...as a classic example),
pay off.


User currently onlinepetteri From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (10 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 16005 times:

Unfortunately it's now being reported that the pilot has in fact died. It's not yet know if he died at the scene, en route or at the hospital. Sad ending to thie story, although good news that the flight did land safely.

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=9263582



The above comments are my personal comments and in no way should be viewed as the views,policy or statements of JetBlue
User currently offlineTonyBurr From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 1030 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 15978 times:

I have had two heart attacks and I never had ANY forewarning. Have you had a heart attack to say that? Or, are you a doctor?

User currently offlineCOPolynesianPub From United States of America, joined exactly 2 years ago today! , 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15818 times:

My thoughts and prayers go out to our pilots family.

User currently offlinepeterjohns From Germany, joined Jan 2009, 202 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15764 times:

Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 6):

Sorry to hear that. No, I have not had one, and I am not a MD. If you say there are no chest pains involved, then so be it.

I wanted to answer a question related to airliners (my line of work) and not start a medical discussion.


User currently offlinegegarrenton From United States of America, joined Aug 2012, 211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15650 times:

Condolences to family and friends of pilot.

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 10, posted (10 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 15443 times:

Quoting clickhappy (Reply 1):
Flightaware shows a pretty rapid decent. Must have been a wild ride.

It was an average of 2,000 FPM descent. A bit more than normal, but not uncommon in daily flights.

It took 17 minutes to get on the ground.

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 2):
if a pilot is hand flying the airplane and on final approach (very close to the runway) and this happens, is there enough time for the co-pilot to react and take over the controls? What is the process involved?

Most of the time, yes.

Given the number of times a perfectly healthy pilot makes mistakes and flies a plane into the ground before the runway or lands too long and is unable to stop by the end of the runway - I'd worry more about that than a possible heart attack in the cockpit on final.


User currently onlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4924 posts, RR: 43
Reply 11, posted (10 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 15096 times:

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 2):
if a pilot is hand flying the airplane and on final approach (very close to the runway) and this happens, is there enough time for the co-pilot to react and take over the controls? What is the process involved?

During critical phases of flight, there are challenge/response calls and procedures. Among other things, the purpose is also to detect a pilot incapacitation. If the other pilot detects a problem, he takes over control. This exercise is practised quite often in the simulator.

It may surprise one to note that while a heart attack is very "detectable", it is the subtle incapacitation that is more serious and harder to detect.

A few months ago, during a YVR-YYZ flight, we had a passenger suffer an apparent stroke. Fortunately, we had a physician on board. He suggested getting the patient as quickly as possible to more capable care. 11 minutes after that decision was made, we were at the gate in YQT. Two weeks ago, I received a letter from the woman's children (through our company flight operations) saying their mother was doing well and recovering. .... It's always worth the effort to land as soon as possible.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineclickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9623 posts, RR: 68
Reply 12, posted (10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 14655 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
PHOTO SCREENER

According to Flightaware they were descending at up to 7k per minute. Not sure where you are getting 2k from.

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (10 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 14196 times:

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/U.../20130926/2227Z/KIAH/KSEA/tracklog

I see one momentary spike above 4K FPM, but the average is below 2,000 FPM descent.

I don't see anything near 7K.


User currently offlineflymd1976 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 14 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 13861 times:
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Quoting TonyBurr (Reply 6):

I'm a doctor and peterjohns is correct in what he said. Most patients do have warning symptoms before they actually have a heart attack. These symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, left shoulder pain, jaw pain, abdominal pain that mimics heartburn, etc. The problem is that these symptoms are pretty non-specific and so when someone is having them they don't automatically put two and two together and seek out help before going into full on cardiac arrest. If you had no symptoms before your or during heart attacks then that is pretty atypical. But it is certainly possible as everyones pathology can present differently.


User currently offlinekkephart13 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 13816 times:

CNN.com is reporting that the pilot has died. Condolences out to his family.

User currently offlineFlyHossD From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 865 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 13816 times:

Quoting YXwatcherMKE (Reply 3):
My prayers go out to the Captain and his Family! Hopefully he/she has a rapid recovery. I was surprised how quickly they had the plane back in the air. Do they have a pilots domicile in Sea that they could get a pilot down to BOI that fast?

According to my friends, a replacement captain was deadheaded in from SFO (maybe LAX?).

[Edited 2013-09-27 08:27:23]


My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineINNflyer From Austria, joined Dec 2008, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 13664 times:

@ TonyBurr

Quote: "I have had two heart attacks and I never had ANY forewarning. Have you had a heart attack to say that? Or, are you a doctor?"

I am a board certified anesthesiologist with many years experience in emergency medicine. A heart attack (in this case I presume, myocardial infarction) may present very differently. It could be obscure pain that gets projected on the shoulder or abdomen, but mostly it is chest pain. The more pain, usually the greater the problem- many patients report shortness of breath, fear for their life, cold sweat, and difficulty to speak. However, diabetes may render the entire process almost pain-free. Myocardial infarction may produce via cardiac rhythm problems instantaneous cardiac arrest with loss of consciousness within a few seconds, but again that is rare. If a myocardial infarction patient developes severe shock, mortality increases sharply. The aforementioned situation sounds as the situation worsened rapidly.


User currently offlinepeterjohns From Germany, joined Jan 2009, 202 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 13495 times:

Quoting flymd1976 (Reply 14):
I'm a doctor and peterjohns is correct in what he said.

Well, thanks a lot for that!!

The original question was if it is dangerous during landing for instance, and I wanted to point out- no, not really.
These situations are trained, and other than a husband driving a car who perhaps would not admit to feeling ill suddenly and continue- a pilot would (should) hand over immeadiatly if he senses something out of the ordinary.

Over the years we have had increasing numbers of medical emergancy diversions- meaning landing at the nearest suitable airport. Here with us (FRA ATC) we are at about one every two weeks. The reasons I can only guess- of course the more pax on a plane- the higher the risk. And I would suppose the average age of pax may have increased- and certainly will over time. (Population getting older)


User currently offlinecrAAzy From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 783 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 13410 times:
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Quoting flymd1976 (Reply 14):

I'm a doctor and peterjohns is correct in what he said. Most patients do have warning symptoms before they actually have a heart attack. These symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, left shoulder pain, jaw pain, abdominal pain that mimics heartburn, etc. The problem is that these symptoms are pretty non-specific and so when someone is having them they don't automatically put two and two together and seek out help before going into full on cardiac arrest. If you had no symptoms before your or during heart attacks then that is pretty atypical. But it is certainly possible as everyones pathology can present differently.

I'll add to that that those can be both symptoms of a heart attack and warning signs of an impending heart attack; especially if they occur during periods of stress, some form of physical exertion, exercise, or even sometimes after eating a heavy meal. These "warning signs" usually go away when the stressors mentioned above have decreased or stopped. They key for the warning symptoms is to recognize the patterns and seek advice from a doctor sooner than later.

People should be most concerned if and see their doctor if these symptoms occur with greater intensity and more frequently, otherwise known as "unstable angina". For example, If you would get left shoulder/jaw pain after walking 3 blocks for months and now you're getting the pain when you walk only 1 or 2 blocks then let your doctor know right away.

Either way it's a very sad/unfortunate situation with the UA pilot and awful for both the crew and the pilots family.


User currently offlinecjg225 From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 13328 times:

Very unfortunate. My condolences to the pilot's family.

Must be quite a shock to the other crew.



Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
User currently onlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3047 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 13223 times:

Quoting peterjohns (Reply 4):
I have heard (know of ) of several incidents in the last few years , where one of the pilots became incapacitated.
Usualy it is no problem for one pilot to continue the flight alone.

I assume you mean one pilot continues the flight to the nearest suitable airport.

The training guidance when only one pilot is capable of flying is to declare an emergency and land at the nearest suitable airport. They can ask for help of a qualified pilot in the cabin at their discretion. It also advises to rely on automation as much as they can to reduce work load. Otherwise, modern airplanes are perfectly capable being flown safely to landing with only one pilot, if necessary. Some airlines specifically practice this during training, and some airlines teach the flight attendants how to come up front and assist with the QRH checklist. Not sure what UA's policies are on this.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 11):
During critical phases of flight, there are challenge/response calls and procedures. Among other things, the purpose is also to detect a pilot incapacitation. If the other pilot detects a problem, he takes over control. This exercise is practised quite often in the simulator.


The training guidance states that two unanswered inquiries to another pilot are grounds to suspect incapacitation, and to take over control.

The training manual also clearly states that if you don't feel well, say so and let the other person fly.


User currently offlinemodesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2791 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (10 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 13223 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 10):
It was an average of 2,000 FPM descent. A bit more than normal, but not uncommon in daily flights.

One point of clarification. A 2,000 fpm descent is NOT a bit more than normal. That's a very normal rate of descent and would not be cause for alarm. 4,000 fpm is a bit more than normal, but even that rate of descent would be well within the limitations of the aircraft.


User currently offlinedaviation From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 12687 times:

Quoting flymd1976 (Reply 14):
I'm a doctor and peterjohns is correct in what he said.

I have had two cardiac arrests (in 2000 and 2005) caused by ventricular tach. Admittedly, this is not the same as an infarction although most people confuse the terms heart attack and cardiac arrest.

Other than a general malaise, I had no warning signs at all, no sudden pain, none of the usual symptoms that warn of impending arrest. In the 2000 incident, I was driving and crashed my car into an underpass. The physicians said that this shock probably restarted my heart. I now of course have a defibrillator/pacemaker. Until recently, I always had to have a manual inspection at the airport because of the ICD and magnetism, but with the latest technology I can use the scatter-scan.


User currently offlineinfiniti329 From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 643 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 12505 times:

In this situation do you explain fully whats going on to your pax or do you just say that the flight is diverting and explain later?

25 26point2 : I see no mention of an AED device. Aren't AEDs required on commercial aircraft? If not, they should be.
26 tugger : To this, is it required to report this if this is requested? Are the pilots supposed to report anything when a possibly medical issue arises for one
27 JHwk : Not to be morbid, but with security protocols today was the pilot SOL, as the copilot has to fly and can't open the door to let someone help the pilot
28 Flighty : That why it is a two pilot cockpit, folks. Great that a safe landing was made, and care was given to the ill pilot. Yes, but in the case of a pilot, h
29 longhauler : The Captain was removed from the cockpit, laid out in First Class, and CPR applied. A request was made for on-board physicians, there were two. Likel
30 AustrianZRH : I see no mention if there was still fibrillation activity in the heart. If the pilot was already asystolic, there's nothing an AED can do.
31 PassedV1 : It depends. How far off of stable does the airplane get before the FO takes over and then where are they at that point. The closer you get to the gro
32 Maverick623 : To put it into layman's terms, an AED is only useful when the heart is still beating, albeit at an irregular or spasmic rate (called fibrillation). I
33 Post contains links Jerseyguy : Per CBS News and Fox News: Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg identified the captain as 63-year-old Henry Skillern of Humble, Texas. Sonnenberg perfo
34 Flighty : Sounds like took all available measures to help him. With these cases I am told, reviving people rarely works. It can help people stay alive, but it'
35 clickhappy : rfields - not sure why you are going out of your way to prove me wrong, especially in a thread like this, but, have a look at the link you have provid
36 FlyHossD : As I recall, about 4 years ago, just that happened. The new Captain had a heart attack inflight and the Check Airman (supervising Captain) asked for
37 Post contains links STT757 : This is what's being reported now: The Captain was taken out and laid in the First class galley, a call was made over the PA asking if a Doctor was o
38 Post contains images F9animal : This story just breaks my heart, and I mean that! I want to give my thanks to those who gave a great explanation of heart attacks, and defib info. I h
39 Northstar80 : Condolences to the family.. The very first article in the post (kboi2) states that the pilot was a big man, over 300lbs. Is that normal for a pilot to
40 wjcandee : I'm curious. All the media say that UA flew in a "replacement pilot". Wouldn't it be typical to fly in a replacement crew -- at least a replacement fl
41 hivue : Let me make a PSA for AEDs. If someone falls out with a possible heart attack and an AED is available, it MUST be used. The AED will decide whether a
42 777ord : It's at crew discretion. I can assure you this: He/they agreed to fly as far as SFO, then go home. Or go to the hotel and pick up his pairing the fol
43 wjcandee : It shouldn't be at crew discretion. That's the point of hav8ng an ironclad procedure.
44 rfields5421 : While the media says a replacement pilot was flown in - we don't know if it was just one pilot, or a flight deck crew, or an entire crew including FA
45 CONTACREW : Believe it was just a pilot who was flown in from SFO the rest of the crew stayed onboard to continue to SEA. It's an sCO crew based in IAH that I be
46 rising : An unfortunate situation. Our of curiosity, if there is another commercial pilot aboard who works for another carrier, are they allowed to assist the
47 glideslope : Godspeed Henry. Thoughts and prayers to the loved ones.
48 Schweigend : A horrible occurrence. After his Captain dying right next to him, the F.O. then had to fly the diversion to BOI and land the plane by himself.... Gosh
49 Max Q : Exactly right, couldn't agree more. My sincere condolences to the Captain and his family. A great loss.
50 wjcandee : In an emergency, yes. Indeed, in this case, there was a guy aboard who trained people on 737s; he assisted the FO on the flight deck.
51 ltbewr : One issue this situation may bring out is the raising of age to 65 for commercial airline pilots - this one was 63. Of course, this could have happene
52 Highflier92660 : I have no problem with airline pilots flying past 60 to age 65. Heck there are guys age 70 and more running marathons and playing competitive sports.
53 neutrino : Not an airline pilot but in my airforce days of three dozen years ago, our expatriate chief fighter pilot was about the same weight and just a tad yo
54 rfields5421 : He wasn't a "reported" 300 lbs. That was a swag by a passenger. Maybe he was heavy. He could also have been near 6 ft 6 inches in height. Where 235 lb
55 apfpilot : without having any idea of his height or bmi how can you call him morbidly obese?
56 Highflier92660 : When this 63-year-old pilot was presumably hired in those ancient days of height requirements between 5' 6" and 6' 4", there were no very tall pilots
57 Post contains links wjcandee : The stupid Daily Mail article that reported the "300 pounds" number also shows pictures of the guy in which he looks reasonably healthy for his age --
58 wingnutmn : A couple points from an airline pilot. Both pilots are fully types to fly the airplane single pilot. When an emergency happens, training and adrenalin
59 wjcandee : Wingnut: Agreed. I am amused by the current AP article which says that the co-pilot is there to take over in an emergency and has been trained to fly
60 Post contains images DualQual : Anyone that has instructed should find single pilot ops no big deal. RIP Rocky.
61 Maverick623 : I can assure you the FO took the left seat and had full control of the steering tiller.
62 mcdu : Actually no he did not. The ATC recordings that were on the Boise newspaper site indicated the FO discussed moving seats to taxi, however he stopped
63 modesto2 : Additionally, if he's only flown in the right seat on that aircraft, he would feel most comfortable flying the plane from that seat. It doesn't seem
64 mcdu : You are correct. That is one of biggest reasons you don't want to attempt a seat swap in flight. Also, you don't want to be out of the seat even mome
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