FO Dies After Inflight Incapacitation
CNN reported late Wednesday that a first officer aboard an American Airlines Boeing 737-800 became “incapacitated” while the aircraft was on a two-mile final and later died after the captain landed the aircraft in Albuquerque. The network reported that American identified William “Mike” Grubbs as the dead pilot on Flight 1353 from Dallas. "We are taking care of First Officer Grubbs' family and colleagues, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time,” American said in a statement. He was 56 and his medical was renewed within the last month according to FAA records. The nature of the "medical issue” reported by the captain as he flew to final was not reported.
Inflight incapacitation is an extremely rare occurrence and it’s even more unlikely to be caused by a medical condition (hypoxia is number one) and this might be even more rare because it happened in a critical flight phase. In this case, the landing was routine but paramedics met the aircraft and performed CPR on the FO for 35-40 minutes before he was pronounced dead.