American Airlines Pilot Dies Mid-flight On Flight AA550 From Phoenix To Boston


You don’t often hear pilots die mid-flight. Considering the number of flights daily today and the increasing age of pilots, this will probably become more common in the future.


When passenger passes during a flight, the body could be moved to a storage that some airlines have on specific airplanes or to an empty row.

You can read more about this incident on New York Daily New website here of which below is an excerpt:

An American Airlines pilot died during a flight from Phoenix to Boston Monday morning, leaving his co-pilot to jump in and safely land the full flight in Syracuse, officials said.

The 147 passengers aboard AA550 had no idea what was happening in the cockpit once their plane started making an emergency landing, passenger Louise Anderson told the Daily News.

The pilot, 57, died from an “illness,” and the exact cause of death is being investigated, airline spokeswoman Brianna Jackson told The News. The death does not appear to be suspicious, police said.


Co-pilot took over the flight and diverted it to Syracuse. There is a reason why co-pilots exist on commercial flights.

Considering that anything can happen to any of us at any time and pilots are not immortal, it is good to have systems in place to ensure that a flight can safely land even when one the cockpit crew members becomes incapacitated (or dead).