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AA pilot dies in flight, co-pilot lands plane safely

An American Airlines pilot became gravely ill while flying from Phoenix to Boston and later died, but his first officer calmly took over and safely landed the plane in Syracuse, airline officials said.


October 6, 2015
By The Associated Press

One hundred forty seven passengers were onboard when Capt. Michael Johnston, 57, was stricken. Doug Parker, chairman and chief executive officer of American Airlines Group, said in a statement that Johnston “passed away while at work.”

American Flight 550 left Phoenix at 11:55 p.m. local time Sunday and was diverted mid-flight, landing shortly after 7 a.m. ET on Monday, spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said. After the captain became ill, the first officer took over. | READ MORE