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UA Pilot Suffers Heart Attack Mid-flight  
User currently offlineKBUF From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 530 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 17376 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, 9628 posts, RR: 68
Reply 1, posted (11 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 17205 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
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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 (11 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 17189 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, 994 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (11 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 16686 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 (11 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 16444 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 offlinepetteri From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16046 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, 1031 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16019 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 Aug 2012, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 15859 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 (11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 15805 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 (11 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 15691 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 (11 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 15484 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 offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4930 posts, RR: 43
Reply 11, posted (11 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 15137 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, 9628 posts, RR: 68
Reply 12, posted (11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14696 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 (11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14237 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 (11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 13902 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 (11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 13857 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, 874 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 13857 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 (11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 13705 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 (11 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 13536 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, 785 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 13451 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, 816 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 13369 times:

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

Must be quite a shock to the other crew.



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User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3069 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 13264 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, 2795 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 13264 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 (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 12728 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, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 12546 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?

User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 820 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 12972 times:

I see no mention of an AED device. Aren't AEDs required on commercial aircraft? If not, they should be.

User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5521 posts, RR: 8
Reply 26, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 12970 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 21):
The training guidance states that two unanswered inquiries to another pilot are grounds to suspect incapacitation, and to take over control.

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 of the pilots during the flight?

Incapacitation is of course something I would think must be reported but what level does "must" come into effect.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineJHwk From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 27, posted (11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 13525 times:

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? If the pilot is somehow moved out of the cockpit for CPR or a AED does one of the flight attendants take the vacated seat? Could a doctor go into the cockpit?

User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8491 posts, RR: 2
Reply 28, posted (11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 13290 times:

That why it is a two pilot cockpit, folks. Great that a safe landing was made, and care was given to the ill pilot.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 25):
I see no mention of an AED device. Aren't AEDs required on commercial aircraft? If not, they should be.

Yes, but in the case of a pilot, how would that even work? Who does it? FA with the door open? It's almost like they would have to make an announcement and tell people exactly what's happening.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4930 posts, RR: 43
Reply 29, posted (11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 13160 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 28):
Yes, but in the case of a pilot, how would that even work? Who does it? FA with the door open? It's almost like they would have to make an announcement and tell people exactly what's happening.

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. Likely the AED was used.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineAustrianZRH From Austria, joined Aug 2007, 1384 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11706 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 25):
I see no mention of an AED device. Aren't AEDs required on commercial aircraft? If not, they should be.

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.



WARNING! The post above should be taken with a grain of salt! Furthermore, it may be slightly biased towards A.
User currently offlinePassedV1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 31, posted (11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 11562 times:

Quoting 747megatop (Reply 2):
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?

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 ground, the further out of stable you get before the takeover happens the chances of a bad ending increase greatly.

Quoting JHwk (Reply 27):
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? If the pilot is somehow moved out of the cockpit for CPR or a AED does one of the flight attendants take the vacated seat? Could a doctor go into the cockpit?
Quoting Flighty (Reply 28):
Yes, but in the case of a pilot, how would that even work? Who does it? FA with the door open? It's almost like they would have to make an announcement and tell people exactly what's happening.

The only real question is how to get the door open...and without getting into it for "security reasons"...it's not a problem for the FA's to get into the cockpit under this scenario.

This is an emergency so any regulations including security protocols are optional at this point anyway. It would be difficult to treat a patient in the cockpit of any airliner forget about any narrowbody but as a practical matter the pilot would be removed. If for some reason the pilot could not be moved (maybe...suspected busted neck after turbulence encounter) the Captain could allow a doctor (or anybody else) in the cockpit. in this scenario as the FO...Chances are near 100% that there was a United pilot riding in the back...it's normal protocol for any non-rev pilots to have identified themselves to either the FA's and/or the pilots prior to departure. If no United pilots were on-board then the chances of an offline jumpseater being on-board is also very high. If all of that failed I would probably just go with the least needed flight attendant (for the medical emergency) in the jumpseat. Our airline doesn't allow our FAs to sit in the pilot seats normally, so having to supervise someone getting in and out of the Captains seat and then get the seat properly adjusted so they aren't going to obstruct the controls might not be worth the time.

PA - by PA I think you mean..."The Captain is incapacitated so now I, the FO are in charge and you will be fine...by the way are there any Private Pilots on board"...I think I would probably skip it. We've had a medical emergency on board...we need to divert to BOI to get the person help...sorry for your inconvenience. The passengers that are paying attention will know anyway...ignorance is bliss for the passengers sleeping in row 25. A non-airline pilot would probably not be much help in this situation because of the lack of time available.

There really isn't time to do a lot as far as the FO is concerned. Making a diversion of this sort for two pilots is busy. It's non-stop for a single pilot at night in the mountains to, in all likelihood, an unfamiliar airport. Anything not directly concerned with flying the airplane is pretty far down the to-do list. Getting a 2nd body in the cockpit takes time and that has to be weighed against how much help/liability that person will be once they get there.


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5598 posts, RR: 6
Reply 32, posted (11 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10697 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 25):
I see no mention of an AED device. Aren't AEDs required on commercial aircraft? If not, they should be.
Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 30):

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.

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).

If the heart has stopped beating (asystolic or flat-lined), shocking it is useless. Basically, the point of an AED is to shock the nerves in the heart to stop beating temporarily, so as to let the body's natural process to restart a normal rhythm (or allow for chest compressions to be more effective).



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User currently offlineJerseyguy From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 1982 posts, RR: 0
Reply 33, posted (11 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10563 times:
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Per CBS News and Fox News:

Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg identified the captain as 63-year-old Henry Skillern of Humble, Texas. Sonnenberg performed an autopsy on Skillern late Friday morning and confirmed that he died at a Boise hospital of a heart attack.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-...-makes-emergency-landing-in-boise/



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User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8491 posts, RR: 2
Reply 34, posted (11 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10118 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 29):
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. Likely the AED was used.

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's not like television. This man may have been in a 1%-3% survival zone.


User currently offlineclickhappy From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 9628 posts, RR: 68
Reply 35, posted (11 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 9760 times:
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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 provided; several minutes show the plane descending at a very rapid clip, take a look at 6:47 for instance.

Condolences to the family and friends of the fallen Captain.


User currently offlineFlyHossD From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 874 posts, RR: 2
Reply 36, posted (11 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 8472 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 28):
Yes, but in the case of a pilot, how would that even work? Who does it? FA with the door open? It's almost like they would have to make an announcement and tell people exactly what's happening.
Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 31):
PA - by PA I think you mean..."The Captain is incapacitated so now I, the FO are in charge and you will be fine...by the way are there any Private Pilots on board"...I think I would probably skip it.

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 assistance from any pilot - a private pilot was put to work in the flight deck.

The fallen Captain was laid out in First Class and CPR, etc., was performed there. IIRC, that Captain passed away, too.

I'm trying to remember the cities involved, but it seems like the diverted flight landed in McAllen, TX. Any one else remember this one?



My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16861 posts, RR: 51
Reply 37, posted (11 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8509 times:

Quoting JHwk (Reply 27):
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? If the pilot is somehow moved out of the cockpit for CPR or a AED does one of the flight attendants take the vacated seat? Could a doctor go into the cockpit?

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 on board. A female Doctor came forward and began compressions, she was assisted by two soldiers who were enroute to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Also from NBC News:

Quote:
A passenger who trains Boeing 737 pilots aided the co-pilot as the plane made the emergency landing in Boise

Not sure if this was an off duty UA employee, a Boeing employee or what but the UA pilot did have assistance landing the aircraft.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...ency-landing-at-boise-airport?lite



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User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5027 posts, RR: 28
Reply 38, posted (11 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8253 times:

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 had no idea that a defib could be useless, and never knew about asystolic. Can CPR still be effective if the heart is asystolic, and be saved? I read somewhere that the captain was about 300 pounds. Absolutely tragic, and really scares me! I mean, I fear to all hell of having a heart attack. This tragedy should shake a few of us, and maybe change some of our poor habits. Again, never ceases to amaze me at how many people here have such amazing knowledge in just about everything.  

Sounds like the flight crew and a few passengers gave it all they had to save him. RIP to the captain.  



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User currently offlineNorthstar80 From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 215 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (11 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 8160 times:

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 be that big? Are there weight limitations to work as a pilot, or weight/height ratios? For an average sized man, say 6 ft, 300lbs is too much weight, it might be very uncomfortable for the pilot to fit the tight seat/cockpit.



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User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 40, posted (11 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6990 times:

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 flight-deck crew? While some folks would be okay watching their captain start to die in the seat next to them,, for most it would be a pretty traumatic experience. I would think that policy would dictate a complete 2-pilot crew change. Because you make policy based upon the right thing to do in the typical situation, and that would be to change the whole crew.

User currently offlinehivue From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 1071 posts, RR: 0
Reply 41, posted (11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6231 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 32):
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.
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).

If the heart has stopped beating (asystolic or flat-lined), shocking it is useless.

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 shock(s) needs to be delivered. You can't just look at someone and decide if they're asystolic or in v-fib. Even taking a pulse won't tell you that.


User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 496 posts, RR: 1
Reply 42, posted (11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6157 times:

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 41):
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 flight-deck crew? While some folks would be okay watching their captain start to die in the seat next to them,, for most it would be a pretty traumatic experience. I would think that policy would dictate a complete 2-pilot crew change. Because you make policy based upon the right thing to do in the typical situation, and that would be to change the whole crew.

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 following day after rest. Also consider that there may not be a full crew legally available for THAT flight. 30/7, 100cal/MO type violations come to mind at this time of month.

As I no longer work in sCO scheduling, I am not at liberty to discuss the actual events that occured, or share his name (even if it may be public by now. not sure).


User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 43, posted (11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6021 times:

It shouldn't be at crew discretion. That's the point of hav8ng an ironclad procedure.

User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 44, posted (11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5628 times:

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 41):
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 flight-deck crew?

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 FAs.

Someone who works for United will have to let us know exactly who was flown in.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 43):
He/they agreed to fly as far as SFO, then go home. Or go to the hotel and pick up his pairing the following day after rest.

The crew might have been based in SEA, or had plans for SEA or possible plans for ANC. Getting off and waiting in BOI was not a good option. They had to go to SEA - both the remaining pilot and cabin crew.

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 44):
That's the point of hav8ng an ironclad procedure.

I'm sure UA has a procedure, and it was followed. We just don't know the details of exaclty what happened or the procedure.


User currently offlineCONTACREW From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 5608 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 45):
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 FAs.

Believe it was just a pilot who was flown in from SFO the rest of the crew stayed onboard to continue to SEA.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 45):

It's an sCO crew based in IAH that I believe were overnighting SEA and returning to IAH today.



Flight Attendants prepare doors for departure, cross check verify straps standby for all call
User currently offlinerising From United States of America, joined May 2010, 269 posts, RR: 1
Reply 46, posted (11 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5452 times:

An unfortunate situation.

Our of curiosity, if there is another commercial pilot aboard who works for another carrier, are they allowed to assist the remaining pilot?



If it doesn't make sense, it's because it's not true.
User currently offlineglideslope From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1612 posts, RR: 0
Reply 47, posted (11 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5318 times:

Godspeed Henry. Thoughts and prayers to the loved ones.


To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
User currently offlineSchweigend From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 609 posts, RR: 2
Reply 48, posted (11 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 4098 times:

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, how are the checklists done in a situation like that? Would a cabin crew member have been in the cockpit with him for support?

This is part of why I'm in awe of flight deck crew, their even tempers and iron nerves, being able to get the job done when other people would turn into a quivering pile of jelly!

Cheers and thanks to you, unnamed First Officer!

Godspeed and condolences to the family and friends of the Captain from Humble.

Scottie


User currently onlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4458 posts, RR: 19
Reply 49, posted (11 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4003 times:

Quoting modesto2 (Reply 22):

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.

Exactly right, couldn't agree more.


My sincere condolences to the Captain and his family. A great loss.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 50, posted (11 months 6 days ago) and read 3736 times:

Quoting rising (Reply 46):
Our of curiosity, if there is another commercial pilot aboard who works for another carrier, are they allowed to assist the remaining pilot?

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.


User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13081 posts, RR: 12
Reply 51, posted (11 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3413 times:

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 happened to a pilot in their 40's or 50's, and some heart problems may be very difficult to know in a through examination, but the risk rate for such medical events does increase more rapidly with higher ages. Despite the mandates of more frequent medical examinations for order commercial pilots, it may be time to reconsider this policy or the FAA to require certain tests for commercial pilots over 60 to determine potential heart and other health problems that may cause an incapacitation during flight.

User currently offlineHighflier92660 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 674 posts, RR: 0
Reply 52, posted (11 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3300 times:

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. But here was a 63-year-old Captain flying with a valid Class 1 FAA medical and weighing a reported 300+ pounds. Presuming (from the passenger's comments) that he wasn't a muscular gym-rat, how do these Haystack Calhoun-sized airline pilots get through two Class I FAA physicals a year plus a company physical?

There should be some tighter company regulations on flying while morbidly obese.


User currently offlineneutrino From Singapore, joined May 2012, 606 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (11 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3259 times:

Quoting Highflier92660 (Reply 52):
But here was a 63-year-old Captain flying with a valid Class 1 FAA medical and weighing a reported 300+ pounds.

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 younger at almost 60. He died when on one of his occasional sorties, he inexplicably crashed his single seat warplane into the sea. The cause was suspected to be a sudden heart attack during a tight turn or steep climb.



Potestatem obscuri lateris nescitis
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 54, posted (11 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3096 times:

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 lbs would be within the ideal range and 250 only about 7% over weight.

We really do not have a reliable source about the deceased pilots weight/ over weight condition.

As you said, being over 60, he had to pass two physicals per year, including stress tests. He obviously had not previously displayed symptoms of cardiac problems. Though most heart attacks do provide warnings and prior indications of risk factors, in a few cases there is no warning.


User currently offlineapfpilot From United States of America, joined Jun 2013, 290 posts, RR: 0
Reply 55, posted (11 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3038 times:

Quoting Highflier92660 (Reply 52):
There should be some tighter company regulations on flying while morbidly obese.

without having any idea of his height or bmi how can you call him morbidly obese?



Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
User currently offlineHighflier92660 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 674 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (11 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2831 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 54):
He could also have been near 6' 6 inches in height.

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 nor Munchkins either. When female candidates entered the equation, height requirements were relaxed so potential Amelia Earharts were not discriminated against on the basis of height. The whole " ability to operate the controls" doublespeak then also applied to male pilots who could moonlight as power forwards in the NBA.

For the record I am only a moderately tall male of 6' 4" who is 200 lbs.


User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 57, posted (11 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 2827 times:

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 -- hardly morbidly-obese. They also show a photo of a 787 as the 737. RIP Rocky. You seem like an upbeat, colorful guy.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ght-causing-emergency-landing.html


User currently offlinewingnutmn From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 641 posts, RR: 0
Reply 58, posted (11 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2695 times:

A couple points from an airline pilot. Both pilots are fully types to fly the airplane single pilot. When an emergency happens, training and adrenaline kick in and you naturally increase focused attention. That one pilot was most likely able to do the workload of both without skipping a beat. The aircraft can be steered just fine using the pedals to get it off the runway via a high-speed taxi exit. Safety of the flight was never in jeopardy.

Wingnut



Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5154 posts, RR: 22
Reply 59, posted (11 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2517 times:

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 the plane. Roll eyes. Amazing what people don't know.

Had an acquaintance who flew for a major carrier who was telling me about a medical incident in the cabin (pre-9/11). The other pilot went back to help with the passenger. He flew the MD80 himself, communicating, running the checklist, etc. Said it was actually fun to put all the skills together and get the thing on the ground very quickly -- he was proud of it. Apparently, the person lived, so he could talk about how fun it was; probably wouldn't have been as willing to characterize it that way if the person hadn't made it.


User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 765 posts, RR: 1
Reply 60, posted (11 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2453 times:

Anyone that has instructed should find single pilot ops no big deal.

RIP Rocky.   


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5598 posts, RR: 6
Reply 61, posted (11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2223 times:

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 58):
The aircraft can be steered just fine using the pedals to get it off the runway via a high-speed taxi exit.

I can assure you the FO took the left seat and had full control of the steering tiller.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1460 posts, RR: 17
Reply 62, posted (11 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2214 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 61):
I can assure you the FO took the left seat and had full control of the steering tiller.

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 on the runway and help was brought to them. Descent, Approach and Landing conducted from his normal flying seat (right). There are many reasons why he would not change seats in mid flight. The safest way to move seats would be fully stopped on the ground with brakes set.


User currently offlinemodesto2 From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 2795 posts, RR: 5
Reply 63, posted (11 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2165 times:

Quoting mcdu (Reply 62):
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 on the runway and help was brought to them. Descent, Approach and Landing conducted from his normal flying seat (right). There are many reasons why he would not change seats in mid flight. The safest way to move seats would be fully stopped on the ground with brakes set.

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 like a big deal, but I'm sure the FO would be far more comfortable in landing the aircraft from the right seat than from the left seat.


User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1460 posts, RR: 17
Reply 64, posted (11 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1811 times:

Quoting modesto2 (Reply 63):
but I'm sure the FO would be far more comfortable in landing the aircraft from the right seat than from the left seat.

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 momentarily without a pilot at the controls at all times. You can't do that if you drag the Captain out of the cockpit and then move seats. On augmented segments we go through a chair circus during change outs of pilots to ensure the flying seats are occupied at all times.


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