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32andBelow
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:38 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 47):
What would he do if there were no right-seat tiller and a dead captain?

Wait until stopped on the runway and then switch seats?

I don't think an FO would ever be able to get in the left seat if he's not qualified. They would probably need to be towed in, or another captain brought on board.
 
wjcandee
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:43 am

Quoting reltney (Reply 34):
I can navigate , talk on the radio and fly at the same time. I am a pilot. It is what I do.

Exactly. We do it in the helicopter all the time -- and we're hand-flying virtually all the time on most equipment.
 
wjcandee
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:45 am

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 50):
I don't think an FO would ever be able to get in the left seat if he's not qualified.

You don't qualify for the physical seat. You qualify for the ROLE.

Or were you just being funny?
 
BN747DFWHNL
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:55 am

Quoting 777X (Reply 19):
How common of an occurance is this?

Braniff 747 HNL-DFW in 1979:

https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=950&dat=19790315&id=AWJQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5FgDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6462,3755705&hl=en
 
beechnut
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:35 am

An A320 is certified as 2-pilot aircraft. If one of the pilots, either co-pilot or captain, becomes incapacitated then it's an emergency and the aircraft must land at the first opportunity to do so safely and within the limitations of the aircraft.

Beech
 
ridgid727
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:58 am

 
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Web500sjc
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:23 am

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 50):

Nowadays in the United States both pilots are required to hold a PIC rating for part 121 Ops.

I'm sure the copilot would fly from the right seat, and (if there is only one tiller) switch to the left seat once on the ground with the brake set. But the tiller isn't needed to taxi an airplane, the rudder pedals wil give limited amounts of steering (7* on a 737).
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:00 am

Quoting tan1mill (Reply 42):

I am sorry for your loss, sometimes some people forget we are talking of fellow humans with family and loved ones...

Rest In peace.

Best Regards

TRB
The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
 
n471wn
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:16 am

Quoting peterjohns (Reply 20):
It would be interesting to hear how old the Capt. was.

He was 57
 
seven3seven
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:40 am

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 51):
I don't think an FO would ever be able to get in the left seat if he's not qualified. They would probably need to be towed in, or another captain brought on board.

If you declare an emergency you can do anything you need to do. So you're wrong
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910A
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:07 am

http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...s-on-flight-from-phoenix/73386804/

Parker said Johnston was a graduate of Brigham Young University. He joined America West as a first officer on the Dash-8. He later flew the Boeing 737 and the 757 before being upgraded to captain on the Airbus A320. America West merged with US Airways in 2005. US Airways and American merged in 2013.
 
flight152
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:08 am

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 56):

7 degrees is not enough to taxi on the ground. I can assure you of that. Enough to take a high speed, but that's about it.
 
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Navigator
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:05 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Quoting Navigator (Reply 27):
This is considered an emergency since the PiC is no longer alive.

The pilot is alive until declared dead by a licensed physician.

You are right in a juridical sense but in a plane when the PiC is obviously not able to perform his/hers duties (dead) you have an emergency. You know perfectly well what I mean so why twist it.
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N1120A
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:48 am

Quoting beechnut (Reply 54):
An A320 is certified as 2-pilot aircraft. If one of the pilots, either co-pilot or captain, becomes incapacitated then it's an emergency and the aircraft must land at the first opportunity to do so safely and within the limitations of the aircraft.

Good point.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
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DIRECTFLT
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:36 am

Nothing to do with this story per se, but I was told of situations, where a piolt had his rquitred physical, which included checking the heart, and passed with flying colors, only to later drop dead. So medical science, as good as it is, can only do so much. We're not all bionic yet, with electronic 24 hour monitoring of our internals!

EACH day, IS a Gift !
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wjcandee
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:41 am

The AZCentral article lamely cites "savvystews.com" as its source for the ATC transcript. Undoubtedly stolen from liveatc.net without attribution. Really, really lame reporting.
 
Lofty
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:54 am

We have had this happen once at LHR can't remember which airline.

It was on B747 and due to the FO being on his own, after landing the flight had to be towed onto stand.

When you look at the BAC1-11 incident where the captain was suck out of the window and the flight was landed by the FO safely, it does highlight how well trained the FO needs to be.
 
AIRWALK
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 11:59 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 49):
I expect cabin crew would help get the pilot out of his or her seat and probably lay him/her on the floor in the galley or aisle.

No way, they probably wouldn't have even told the passengers let alone let them see. They would ask for medical assistance from the passengers in a discrete way. The last thing you want is passengers panicking which would happen if they saw an unconscious pilot.
I'm sure this thread will take off soon
 
johns624
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:22 pm

Quoting Lofty (Reply 66):
it does highlight how well trained the FO needs to be

FO's, at least in the US, are trained as highly as captains. They just don't have the overall authority that the captain has. The captain and FO usually alternate flying legs on a trip.
 
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Navigator
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:51 pm

Quoting johns624 (Reply 68):
FO's, at least in the US, are trained as highly as captains. They just don't have the overall authority that the captain has. The captain and FO usually alternate flying legs on a trip.

In Europe this is also the case. The FO is fully capable of flying the plane himself. Thats one of the reasons he is there actually, in case the captain gets incapacitated for some reason.
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Mir
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 1:56 pm

Quoting johns624 (Reply 68):
FO's, at least in the US, are trained as highly as captains.

Not necessarily when it comes to taxiing if the aircraft doesn't have the ability to be taxied from the right seat.

That said, taxiing isn't difficult, and unless there are tight spaces involved an FO would certainly be able to manage it from the left seat if they had to.

-Mir

[Edited 2015-10-06 06:57:59]
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
johns624
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:11 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 70):
Not necessarily when it comes to taxiing if the aircraft doesn't have the ability to be taxied from the right seat.

Which has nothing to do with flying the plane...
 
ltbewr
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:20 pm

News reports this morning were saying the Captain had heart disease, had a major heart operation several years ago and required to have full medical checkups every 6 months. He was in his later 50's. His family said he loved flying, one of his early dates with who would become his wife was him flying a Cessna. Seems like a good person. Too bad his health didn't let him fly longer.
 
Mir
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:29 pm

Quoting johns624 (Reply 71):
Which has nothing to do with flying the plane...

There'd been discussion on FOs taxiing in the thread, I lumped your comment in with those. Sorry about that.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 72):
News reports this morning were saying the Captain had heart disease, had a major heart operation several years ago and required to have full medical checkups every 6 months.

He'd be required to have medical exams every six months anyway, so I wouldn't read too much into that.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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moriarty
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 2:47 pm

RIP.

However, I wonder, can this be a sign of a routine not being good enough? I mean, the purpose of medicals is to prevent things like this, right? Yeah, I know, people do mistakes and other people lie. Not pointing any fingers here, absolutely not. I'm just wondering if this eventually will point out a flaw in the routines that should detect possibly fatal conditions of pilots or if it's just one of those tragic things that does just happen. The latter feels a tad unrealistic, since I believe the aircraft industry is rather good in learning from passed mistakes, not really believing in "things happen for no reason and nothing can be done about it".
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medallionchief
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:10 pm

RIP Captain - thank you for serving your passenger safely.
 
MrBuzzcut
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:14 pm

Meanwhile, a UA 1644 IAH-SFO just landed in ABQ after the co-pilot passed out.

http://krqe.com/2015/10/06/flight-di...sunport-after-co-pilot-passes-out/

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/UAL1614

I know it's just chance, but two days in a row for flight crew medical diversions. Don't see that often.
 
threepoint
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:21 pm

I was surprised to see, after watching the patch.com video in the first reply upthread, that AA still flies Convairs on that route. Not sure why I expected it to be an A320.
The nice thing about a mistake is the pleasure it gives others.
 
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redzeppelin
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 4:59 pm

More from one of the SLC papers:
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8...s-co-pilot-lands-safely-in-NY.html

Quote:
Identified by his wife as Michael Johnston, 57, the pilot became gravely ill and incapacitated during the flight and later died. Johnston's first officer safely diverted and landed the nearly 150-passenger plane, an airline spokeswoman said.

Passengers on the flight were told the pilot was sick and the plane was making an emergency landing in Syracuse, N.Y.

Johnston's wife, Betty Jean Johnston, remembered him Monday as a loving and ambitious person who had been flying for the same airline for 27 years — all while the company's name had changed twice.
...
Michael Johnston's death while flying is a scenario that's rare but not unheard-of: Seven pilots for U.S. airlines and one charter pilot have died during flights since 1994, the Federal Aviation Administration says.
 
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Thunderboltdrgn
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:17 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 70):
Not necessarily when it comes to taxiing if the aircraft doesn't have
the ability to be taxied from the right seat.

Why is it like that? Why doesn't planes have the tiller at the F.O. seat as well?
Like a thunderbolt of lightning the Dragon roars across the sky. Il Drago Ruggente
 
AIRWALK
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 5:35 pm

Quoting thunderboltdrgn (Reply 79):
Why is it like that? Why doesn't planes have the tiller at the F.O. seat as well?

Some do, but there is simply no need. You can brake from both sides and the rudder pedals give a few degrees nose wheel steering generally.

[Edited 2015-10-06 10:35:33]
I'm sure this thread will take off soon
 
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DocLightning
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:50 pm

Quoting Navigator (Reply 62):
You are right in a juridical sense but in a plane when the PiC is obviously not able to perform his/hers duties (dead) you have an emergency. You know perfectly well what I mean so why twist it.

The point is that if he's not dead but has no heart beat, it's also a MEDICAL emergency in addition to an aviation emergency. So there are two reasons to land at the nearest suitable airfield.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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deltaflyertoo
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:58 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 52):
No way, they probably wouldn't have even told the passengers let alone let them see. They would ask for medical assistance from the passengers in a discrete way. The last thing you want is passengers panicking which would happen if they saw an unconscious pilot.

When the exact same thing happened on the United flight (Houston to Seattle) last year they were anything but discreet. They openly asked for help, pulled the captain into the aisle of first class and performed CPR on him in front of all the pax (while the f/o initiated a steep emergency descent into Boise).

Not sure what the circumstance of this AA flight was but from what I gather that didn't happen.
 
chrisair
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:08 pm

Quoting moriarty (Reply 74):
I mean, the purpose of medicals is to prevent things like this, right?

Of course. But they can miss things: Just take a look at the (relatively small) number of athletes that have underlying heart issues that only turn up after they die. Even pros aren't immune: the Chicago Bears had a player die in 2014 from a heart issue, and the pros are poked and prodded in every imaginable way.
 
AIRWALK
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:13 pm

Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 82):
When the exact same thing happened on the United flight (Houston to Seattle) last year they were anything but discreet. They openly asked for help, pulled the captain into the aisle of first class and performed CPR on him in front of all the pax (while the f/o initiated a steep emergency descent into Boise).

Wrong quote, but yeah, if medical attention is possible on the flight of course that would take priority, and it naturally can't take place in the flight deck if the doctor is a passenger so must be done in the cabin. But in this circumstance the F/A seemed to be the one helping I believe, so no need to raise undue panic if it can be avoided.
I'm sure this thread will take off soon
 
747megatop
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:16 pm

Quoting rbavfan (Reply 41):
AA or UA had a pilot die on a DC-10 flight in the 80's. It happens now and then.

Another similar incident that comes to mind is a QR flight out of MNL about 5 years back where the captain died in flight - http://www.pprune.org/archive/index.php/t-430491.html
 
canoecarrier
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:26 pm

The FO handled himself very professionally after listening to the ATC tapes. I'm a little surprised that the airport wanted him to go to a deicing pad though without a plan on how to get the captain out of the plane. In all the years I've worked at airports I can't ever remember a plane with a medical emergency being sent out to a remote area when a gate was available.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
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Aaron747
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:19 am

Quoting chrisair (Reply 83):
Just take a look at the (relatively small) number of athletes that have underlying heart issues that only turn up after they die. Even pros aren't immune: the Chicago Bears had a player die in 2014 from a heart issue, and the pros are poked and prodded in every imaginable way.

Yes but pro athletes who croak unexpectedly are usually befallen by ARVD or heart enlargement - things that a simple ECG can sometimes miss. If they are screening to the extent that they do an echo and possibly cardiac CT or right ventricular angiography, that would cover all the bases, but I assume most teams don't want to subject players to such tests on a routine basis, much less pay for them.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
Viscount724
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 1:28 am

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 72):
News reports this morning were saying the Captain had heart disease, had a major heart operation several years ago

He had a double bypass in 2006.

Quoting AIRWALK (Reply 67):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 49):
I expect cabin crew would help get the pilot out of his or her seat and probably lay him/her on the floor in the galley or aisle.

No way, they probably wouldn't have even told the passengers let alone let them see. They would ask for medical assistance from the passengers in a discrete way. The last thing you want is passengers panicking which would happen if they saw an unconscious pilot.

I think you're wrong. You can't do CPR effectively on someone who isn't on a hard surface and few aircraft cockpits these days are large enough to lay someone down flat on the floor with the cockpit door closed.
 
HAL
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:44 am

I flew as a copilot for this captain when I worked for America West. Great, caring man and always very professional. He will be missed.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
32andBelow
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:01 am

We have millions of operations each year in the US and this is one of a few instances. I don't think we can say there is a systemic problem.
 
wjcandee
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:46 am

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 59):

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 51):
I don't think an FO would ever be able to get in the left seat if he's not qualified. They would probably need to be towed in, or another captain brought on board.

If you declare an emergency you can do anything you need to do. So you're wrong

For what it's worth, I didn't say what is in the quote. In fact, I said that what was in the quote was WRONG.
 
wjcandee
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:50 am

Quoting johns624 (Reply 68):
FO's, at least in the US, are trained as highly as captains. They just don't have the overall authority that the captain has. The captain and FO usually alternate flying legs on a trip.

Exactly. In the US, the FO isn't some kid with 100 hours getting coffee for the captain. At a major airline, he's just another pilot. I don't understand why the media constantly acts as if it's some kind of miracle that the FO "successfully landed the plane".

Here's a clue: there's a 50-percent chance that she just did the last landing. (I know there are a couple of airports that some airlines have designated as "captain only" landings, but they are few and far between.)
 
wjcandee
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Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:53 am

Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 82):
Quoting wjcandee (Reply 52):
No way, they probably wouldn't have even told the passengers let alone let them see. They would ask for medical assistance from the passengers in a discrete way. The last thing you want is passengers panicking which would happen if they saw an unconscious pilot.

Geez. I didn't say this, either. WTFO?
 
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barney captain
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:54 am

Quoting medallionchief (Reply 75):
RIP Captain - thank you for serving your passenger safely.

Thank you for being one of the few (and HAL) that properly put the gravity of this situation in to the proper context.

And well done to all the crew who I imagine are still reeling from this traumatic situation.

Goodspeed Captain Johnston.


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Southeast Of Disorder
 
wjcandee
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 5:55 am

Quoting moriarty (Reply 74):
I mean, the purpose of medicals is to prevent things like this, right?

No, the purpose of medicals is to reduce the possibility of things like this happening, and given that they seem to happen about once per million operations, they do.
 
wjcandee
Posts: 10394
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:00 am

Quoting HAL (Reply 89):

I flew as a copilot for this captain when I worked for America West. Great, caring man and always very professional. He will be missed.

HAL

The descriptions of this gentleman actually make him sound a lot like the America West pilot that I feel like I know the best, "Captain Dave" of FL390, of whom I am a shameless fan, right down to the amazing wife (and Captain Johnston's wife is plainly that). I miss Dave's blog so much, and I pray that he continues to fly and take notes for future beautiful posts.
 
wjcandee
Posts: 10394
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2000 12:50 am

RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 6:00 am

Quoting barney captain (Reply 94):
Thank you for being one of the few (and HAL) that properly put the gravity of this situation in to the proper context.

And well done to all the crew who I imagine are still reeling from this traumatic situation.

Goodspeed Captain Johnston.

As usual, you nailed it.
 
bjorn14
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:16 am

IIRC, a Czech captain flying an ATR42 died on approach into PRG not too long ago. RIP
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
beechnut
Posts: 961
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Wed Oct 07, 2015 10:09 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
Quoting Navigator (Reply 27):
This is considered an emergency since the PiC is no longer alive.

The pilot is alive until declared dead by a licensed physician.

Aboard an airplane, I would only declare when there is gross bodily injury clearly incompatible with life (i.e. decapitation) OR when a patient with a DNR/DNI order ceases heartbeat and respiration and demonstrates loss of at least one cranial nerve reflex (although I use two as my minimum).

In a situation of unexpected cardiac arrest in the absence of DNR/DNI, I'm doing CPR all the way until EMS takes over for me at the gate and I'm letting the doc in the ED declare the patient. According to the article, it indicates that a F/A who was also a RN "tried to save" the Captain, so that suggests that she was doing CPR.

I'm sure if you ever landed a job actually flying for an airline, they'd teach you what the rules actually are. Pilot incapacitation, of any one of the two pilots on an aircraft certified for two-pilot operations, is an emergency. It only has to be incapacitation, not death. Incapacitated as in anything preventing him/her from carrying out flying duties. Can be anything from a bad case of gastroenteritis picked up at the last station, all the way to death.

Beech

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