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speedbird203
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AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:02 pm

Hi all

I have just come across this as breaking news,

AA550 diverted due to the Pilot sadly passing away.

Very sad. RIP and condolences to all family and friends.

http://aviation.trendolizer.com/2015...s-away-inflight-savvystewscom.html
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dwcontroller
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:08 pm

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A...0/history/20151005/0659Z/KPHX/KBOS

Very sad news. AAL550 A320 the red- eye from PHX-BOS diverted to SYR.

http://patch.com/massachusetts/charl...boston-diverted-after-pilot-dies-0

[Edited 2015-10-05 09:21:11]
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copter808
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:11 pm

Condolences to AA and the pilots family.

Now we can all tune to CNN and Fox News to find out how the copilot miraculously saved everyone on board!
 
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scbriml
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:23 pm

Quoting copter808 (Reply 2):
Now we can all tune to CNN and Fox News to find out how the copilot miraculously saved everyone on board!

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail is reporting that many passengers reported being terrified during this ordeal and in fear of their lives.   
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32andBelow
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:24 pm

Quoting copter808 (Reply 2):
Now we can all tune to CNN and Fox News to find out how the copilot miraculously saved everyone on board!

Copilots aren't certified pilots! They just sit there and get the pilot coffee and stuff.
 
copter808
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:37 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 3):

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail is reporting that many passengers reported being terrified during this ordeal and in fear of their lives.

Oops, I forgot to add that. Sorry.

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 4):
Copilots aren't certified pilots! They just sit there and get the pilot coffee and stuff.

Isn't that the job of the First Officer?
 
Alias1024
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:49 pm

RIP to the deceased pilot. This job can certainly take a toll on one's body. Constantly shifting your body clock around, hours of sitting while at the controls, crap fast food at airports, and many other challenges.

Quoting copter808 (Reply 5):
Isn't that the job of the First Officer?

No, that's flight attendants....at least in the flying public's mind. First officers are for taking the blame on bad landings.  
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Web500sjc
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:56 pm

Can't believe it's CNN breaking news....
 
EMAman
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 4:58 pm

Very sad.. RIP

If you are listening Mr O Leary - this is why you have 2 pilots!!!
 
AviationAddict
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:11 pm

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 7):

CNN just ran a quick segment about it...in a 30 second clip the report managed to botch the route (stated it was heading to PHX from BOS) and also said "thankfully he [the co-pilot] was able to land the aircraft safely." Her tone indicated her disbelief that a first officer was capable of tying his/her own shoe, let alone land an aircraft.

As if the family of the captain and AA didn't have enough on their minds already, now they have to listen to the bonehead media fumble over and sensationalize the death of a loved one/co-worker.
 
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glideslope
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:21 pm

Gods Speed. Compadre.
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tlecam
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:22 pm

So sad. I feel bad for the pilot, his/her family and co-workers.

Also, kudos to the flight attendant who was also a nurse for trying to help the pilot.

THe news reports range from wildly inaccurate (at best) to plain ignorantly stupid.

I can understand a casual traveler being frightened ("Who will land the plane, are we going to crash?") Hopefully after a bit of thought, people would realize that somebody at some point in time must have developed a contingency plan in teh event that something like this happened. You're not going to re-enact the movie Air Plane, especially because Kareem Abdul Jabbar wouldn't fit in an airline seat today.
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INFINITI329
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:29 pm

Quoting AviationAddict (Reply 9):
CNN just ran a quick segment about it...in a 30 second clip the report managed to botch the route (stated it was heading to PHX from BOS) and also said "thankfully he [the co-pilot] was able to land the aircraft safely." Her tone indicated her disbelief that a first officer was capable of tying his/her own shoe, let alone land an aircraft

Cut them a break, there are other equally important issues that they are reporting on today
 
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PM
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:38 pm

For much of my life we had a perfectly good verb in "to die". I wonder what happened to it?

(Oh, right - it passed away...   )
 
DBQ
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:39 pm

Quoting copter808 (Reply 2):
Now we can all tune to CNN and Fox News to find out how the copilot miraculously saved everyone on board!

And we must quote a passenger saying, "the copilot did an amazing job in landing the plane."
 
flight152
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:47 pm

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 6):

While I partially agree with you, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy as a pilot. There are ways to avoid the crap food if you're willing to put in the effort. The problem is, most don't put in any effort.
 
threeifbyair
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 5:52 pm

Some basic facts, to try to get this thread back on topic:

FlightAware shows that AA550 PHX-BOS departed PHX at 0008 MST. It diverted to SYR at 0653, arriving at 0711 EDT.

Flight turned around southeast of SYR. ALB would have been the next suitable major airport to the east. Looks like it was somewhere between the two when the decision was made.

Equipment was A320, which would have a PMUS flight crew.

After a little over 4 hours on the ground, AA550 departed for BOS at 1137 EDT and arrived at 1227 EDT.

I assume AA brought in a replacement crew from one of its hubs to complete the flight.

Quoting copter808 (Reply 2):
Now we can all tune to CNN and Fox News to find out how the copilot miraculously saved everyone on board!

Let's not sell the FO short on this, though. Having your immediate colleague die suddenly has to be a difficult emotional experience, even if technically there is no difficulty with landing the aircraft.
 
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exFWAOONW
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:36 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 4):
Copilots aren't certified pilots! They just sit there and get the pilot coffee and stuff.

You've been watching the henhouse, err The View too much.

On a serious note. The FO was probably more than a little distracted.
a) there's a dead body sitting next to me
b) it could've been a friend
c) no-one to share the work-load radio/flying/navigating/ (I assume the lead Flight Attendant can read the landing checklist for him/her)
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
YYZFAN
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:37 pm

Quoting threeifbyair (Reply 16):
Let's not sell the FO short on this, though. Having your immediate colleague die suddenly has to be a difficult emotional experience, even if technically there is no difficulty with landing the aircraft

It is a credit to the FO's professionalism that they conducted the rest of the flight safely, and landed the aircraft without the usual assistance and second set of eyes.
 
777X
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:56 pm

First of all, RIP to the pilot and my condolences to his family and friends.

How common of an occurance is this?
 
peterjohns
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:59 pm

It would be interesting to hear how old the Capt. was. This is only the second time I have heared of that to happen. The other one landed in Poland - I believe- not sure of the airline.
Of course , the deceased would not be left sitting- they would take care of him in the galley/ isle, as it wouldn´t be clear if he couldn´t be reanimated.
It is no problem at all, for sure no breaking news, for the FO to land a A320 safely alone.
Sometimes it might be safer, however , to continue to the destination - rather than land at an unknown airport alone. Depends on the cicumstances of course.

Quoting EMAman (Reply 8):

Mr. O´Leary would argue they had two pilots- one FO and an Autopilot (even two of them!)

Sad to hear someone die. By the way- today we nearly had a birth on board a flight into FRA- just landed in time!!
The Mom was laying down in the galley...
 
32andBelow
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:01 pm

This might be in bad taste? But wouldn't of proceeding to the destination been marginally longer (if that) when it was all said and done?
 
FlyHossD
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:06 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 21):

This might be in bad taste? But wouldn't of proceeding to the destination been marginally longer (if that) when it was all said and done?

Please reconsider - had you or one of your family members had a heart attack (or other serious malady), would you want the crew to get you on the ground as soon as possible? Or continue to a somewhat more distant destination?
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LAX772LR
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:07 pm

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

Bet it'd really people the public out to know the true number (whatever it may be) of inflight health incidents by flight crew.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
32andBelow
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:09 pm

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 22):
Please reconsider - had you or one of your family members had a heart attack (or other serious malady), would you want the crew to get you on the ground as soon as possible? Or continue to a somewhat more distant destination?

I'm more asking what is the difference in flight time in this case?
 
hz747300
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:14 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 21):

This might be in bad taste? But wouldn't of proceeding to the destination been marginally longer (if that) when it was all said and done?

No, for the reasons mentioned, and the very fact the pilot had died (could happen to the other pilot too). There are two pilots for a reason especially on flights with this many passengers. Let alone the human side of the equation, it is better to land the plane, and given AA's size, they can fly a new set of pilots in from nearly anywhere to finish the flight and give the first officer the rest of the day off without much delay.
Keep on truckin'...
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:18 pm

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 21):
This might be in bad taste? But wouldn't of proceeding to the destination been marginally longer (if that) when it was all said and done?

It could well be that there were signs of life when they decided to divert to SYR. Until the Captain is officially prounounced dead, would you carry on or treat it as a medical emergency?
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
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Navigator
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:19 pm

Quoting copter808 (Reply 2):
ow we can all tune to CNN and Fox News to find out how the copilot miraculously saved everyone on board!
Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 21):
This might be in bad taste? But wouldn't of proceeding to the destination been marginally longer (if that) when it was all said and done?

This is considered an emergency since the PiC is no longer alive. They land as soon as possible even if the CoPilot is perfectly able to continue flying the plane safely. The CoPilot will be affected by this and the workload will increase. The best option is therefore to bring the plane down at the nearest suitable airport.
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NWAROOSTER
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:24 pm

Quoting peterjohns (Reply 20):

It would be interesting to hear how old the Capt. was. This is only the second time I have heared of that to happen. The other one landed in Poland - I believe- not sure of the airline.

If I am not mistaken, the Captain flying Braniff's Big Pumpkin, N601BN a 747, was flying from HNL to Dallas, TX died at the controls over about LAX and the flight crew decided to continue the flight to it's destination DFW. It was supposed to be his final flight before his retirement. Also, I think the Captain's wife was the lead flight attendant. I cannot remember the year.
Correct me if I am wrong.   

[Edited 2015-10-05 12:26:45]
Procrastination Is The Theft Of Time.......
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:37 pm

My condolences to those involved and the family, such a sad occurrence.

Quoting NWAROOSTER (Reply 28):
If I am not mistaken, the Captain flying Braniff's Big Pumpkin, N601BN a 747, was flying from HNL to Dallas, TX died at the controls over about LAX and the flight crew decided to continue the flight to it's destination DFW. It was supposed to be his final flight before his retirement. Also, I think the Captain's wife was the lead flight attendant. I cannot remember the year.
Correct me if I am wrong.   

I did not know about this, wow, such a sad story, reminds me of the BA pilot who had the engine fail and fire in LAS a month ago and it was 1 flight from retirement...

TRB
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rugger
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:38 pm

We've all heard the stories about people who have gone to the doctor for a check up and received a clean bill of health only to die a few hours later from a heart attack. Not everything can be predicted. There is such a thing as "sudden death". An autopsy will show what the condition of the Captain's heart was in.
 
AAR90
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:46 pm

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

Relatively rare. My initial AA "indoc" training included a video scenario of a B727 Captain dying during approach to landing and how AA procedures accounted for that eventuality. All in attendance basically laughed at the video; however, a few months later that is almost exactly what happened: AA DC10 LAX-EWR red-eye where the Captain simply "stopped flying" during the final approach (below 1,000'). FO recognized the CA was not responding to his (AA procedural) call-outs, took control of the plane and landed. CA died of sudden heart attack and I have always paid close attention to AA training (no matter how "stupid" or "boring") ever since. I recall two other similar instances (AA pilot death-in-flight) during my 28+ years with AA.

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 21):
But wouldn't of proceeding to the destination been marginally longer (if that) when it was all said and done?

At AA, the crew never declares a death-in-flight. The Captain was "incapacitated" and the FO's responsibilities are: 1) take over command of the flight, 2) safely land the plane, and 3) get professional medical attention ASAP. If the information reported is accurate the quickest access to appropriate medical attention would have been at SYR or ALB and the divert was just 18 minutes (from altitude...much quicker than normal). Proceeding to BOS would have been considerably (in relative terms) longer before medical attention would be accessed.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
johns624
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:14 pm

Sometimes the FO has more hours in the plane than the Captain.
 
Ferroviarius
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:02 pm

For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. (Rom 14, 8)

Ferroviarius
 
reltney
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:10 pm

Quoting exFWAOONW (Reply 17):

Distracted... Doubt it. Possible but he was more than likely excited as he just moved up a seniority number. (Humor)

I can navigate , talk on the radio and fly at the same time. I am a pilot. It is what I do.

I fly a 747 and the old guy next to me is usually to busy sleeping or slow so I end up doing it all myself anyway. (Humor again)

The capt was more than likely brought into the gally or on the cockpit floor.

F/A read me a checklist. Ha! That is humor. I am a pilot so I can fly, navigate, talk on the radio and read a checklist by myself. If you find a pilot who can't , get of the plane as the pilot is an idiot and dangerous. (Truth)

Stop with the drama.

Sad to here anyone pass away.

Cheers, reltney.
Knives don't kill people. People with knives kill people.
OUTLAW KNIVES.

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deltaflyertoo
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:19 pm

Quoting peterjohns (Reply 20):
This is only the second time I have heared of that to happen. The other one landed in Poland - I believe- not sure of the airline.

Just last year this happened on a United flight from Houston to Seattle, the Captain had cardiac arrest, they pulled him into aisle of first class and did CPR while the first officer landed the plane in Boise. The Captain didn't make it.
 
N1120A
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:26 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 23):
Bet it'd really people the public out to know the true number (whatever it may be) of inflight health incidents by flight crew.

It isn't that common.

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 21):
This might be in bad taste? But wouldn't of proceeding to the destination been marginally longer (if that) when it was all said and done?

1) Yes, bad taste.

2) They may well have thought they could help him.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
johns624
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:22 pm

Seeing as it was a redeye, I wonder if the FO first realized it when he couldn't wake the capatain up from his nap? (seriously).
 
flymia
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:30 pm

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

I read in an article that since 1994, 7 in flight deaths of pilots have been reported in the United States. So its really rare.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
N415XJ
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:35 pm

Quoting reltney (Reply 34):
Distracted... Doubt it. Possible but he was more than likely excited as he just moved up a seniority number.

I've heard/made my share of tasteless jokes in the past, but this one, oh boy...
 
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DocLightning
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:59 pm

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.
-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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rbavfan
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:09 pm

AA or UA had a pilot die on a DC-10 flight in the 80's. It happens now and then.
 
tan1mill
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:13 pm

I knew the pilot. My brother married into his family and called me this morning about what happened. He was a great guy, and I had the chance at my brother's wedding to talk with him about the aviation industry and gain lots of insight and advice for my career. If there is any happiness in this tragedy it's that he died doing what he loved. I will pass on to their family all of your support and condolences.
Love many, Trust few, Always paddle your own canoe.
 
wjcandee
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:16 pm

LiveATC has the video. The FO did a great job on the radio of coordinating everything, with an emphasis on ensuring, before landing, that it was crystal-clear where he was to go upon landing and that medics would have immediate access to the aircraft. Initially, he was told that he would be going to the deicing pad and the ambulances would meet him there, but when he asked Approach to ensure that they would be able to access the aircraft, they then told him that he would be going to a gate (6, I think), which is the better solution. On to the jetway, out the door and down the stairs to the ambulance.
 
Viscount724
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:25 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 43):
LiveATC has the video

Assume you mean audio.

There's a link to the ATC communications in this news report.
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/10/0...hoenix-syracuse-medical-emergency/
 
32andBelow
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:47 pm

So can FO's at AA steer(taxi) from the right seat? I know this is not possible for all aircraft types/carriers.
 
Viscount724
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:12 am

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 45):
So can FO's at AA steer(taxi) from the right seat? I know this is not possible for all aircraft types/carriers.

Nosegear steering tiller on both sides on A320 as far as I know.
 
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DocLightning
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:23 am

Quoting 32andBelow (Reply 45):

So can FO's at AA steer(taxi) from the right seat? I know this is not possible for all aircraft types/carriers.

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?
-Doc Lightning-

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

Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:25 am

What is the protocol when a pilot passes out in his seat from a medical situation? Will crew request assistance from a doctor who might be on board to come to the cockpit? Or is the cockpit to absolutely remain secure, and the pilot does not get any help until the airplane is on the ground?




LD4
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Viscount724
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RE: AA550 Diverts Pilot Passes Away In Flight

Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:31 am

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 48):
What is the protocol when a pilot passes out in his seat from a medical situation? Will crew request assistance from a doctor who might be on board to come to the cockpit?

Yes of course. 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.

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Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos