American Airlines First Officer Dies During Final Approach In Albuquerque, New Mexico

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A sad day for the family, colleagues and friends of an American Airlines pilot who suddenly deceased while performing his duties as a First Officer on the final approach to Albuquerque.

The captain of the flight handled the final approach and landing by himself after which he quickly steered the aircraft to the gate where paramedics were waiting for his colleague.

Unfortunately medical personnel were unable to save the patient and he deceased after intensive CPR proved unsuccessful.

CNN just reported about the incident (see here) which took place late Wednesday afternoon.

An American Airlines first officer died Wednesday after becoming incapacitated during the last phases of landing at Albuquerque, New Mexico, two people familiar with the situation said.

American Airlines Flight 1353, a Boeing 737-800 flying from Dallas-Fort Worth to Albuquerque, was 2 miles from landing when the captain declared an emergency, citing “a medical issue” aboard, according to a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

The aircraft landed safely at 3:33 p.m., according to Flightaware, and taxied to the gate, where it was met by paramedics. The people familiar with the incident said CPR was performed for 35 to 40 minutes before the first officer was pronounced dead. …

Incapacitation of a member of the flight crew is extremely rare. A 57-year-old American Airlines captain died in October 2015 after falling ill during a flight between Phoenix and Boston.

This must have been a shock for the captain as well to have his fellow pilot fall ill and decease in the cockpit so it’s fair to say our thoughts go to him as well as the family of the departed.

Conclusion

It’s still good that the cockpit is manned by two competent aviators even though certain budget airlines sometimes argue that in theory one pilot could do the job. Leaving the workload aside, this incident shows the risks of such undertakings and that those plans are plain crazy talk. I don’t know if passengers would feel very comfortable with the cutback either – I certainly don’t.

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  • flerk

    Very sad and proves that two pilots are necessary. If any airlines did in fact have one pilot (unlikely it ever gets allowed) I would never fly with them.

  • Dr.Florida

    So sad. rip ! So young …. And yes, I would never fly a plane with only one pilot