Last updated: 12:12 PM ET, Tue October 06 2015

Airline Pilot Dies Mid-Flight

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | October 05, 2015

Airline Pilot Dies Mid-Flight

An American Airlines pilot died mid-flight after experiencing a medical emergency this morning, airline officials confirmed to ABC News.

The flight was en route from Boston to Phoenix when someone reported to air traffic control via cockpit radio that the “captain is incapacitated” and “pilot is unresponsive, not breathing,” according to recordings obtained via

The name and age of the pilot were not released.

There were 147 passengers and five crewmembers aboard, including the co-pilot, who took over the flight controls and made an emergency landing in Syracuse, New York.

An airline spokesperson told ABC News it is "incredibly saddened" and is focusing on taking care of the family members and crew involved.

An airline spokesperson also said that one of the flight attendants happened to be a nurse and jumped in to assist the stricken pilot.

UPDATE: Officials have released the name of the pilot, 57-year-old Captain Michael Johnston's. Cause of death was ruled to be the "result of natural diseases."


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