Pilot Suffers In-Flight Heart Attack

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The captain of United Airlines Flight 1603 from Houston to Seattle died after suffering an apparent heart attack during the flight Thursday evening. “We got a man down,” multiple news outlets quoted audio released by LiveATC.net. “Chest compressions going on right now. I’m not sure too much right now the status.” The first officer diverted the Boeing 737-900 with 161 passengers onboard to Boise, Idaho, and landed normally about 8 p.m. The stricken pilot was taken to hospital in Boise but later died.

United confirmed the incident Friday morning but did not name the pilot. “I am sad to confirm that our co-worker passed away last night. Our thoughts are with his family at this time,” United spokeswoman Christen David said in an email to the L.A. Times. The passengers were transferred to another aircraft for the short flight from Boise to Seattle and arrived early Friday.