Captain Suffers Heart Attack Aboard United Airlines Flight
The Captain of United Airlines flight 1603 suffered a heart attack Thursday while airborne prompting an immediate emergency landing. The aircraft, which was enroute from Houston, TX, to Seattle, WA, diverted to Boise, ID, after notifying air traffic control of their medical emergency.
"We got a man down, chest compressions going on right now," said the remaining United pilot to the controller. "I'm not sure too much right now the status. Can an ambulance and maybe some air stairs meet us on the runway?"
One doctor and three passengers reportedly assisted with the situation. Passengers on board told Seattle's NBC News affiliate King 5 that two army soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord assisted a doctor that was also on board with helping the ailing Captain. A fourth passenger, who King 5 reports is a 737 instructor, assisted the First Officer in the flight deck.
The aircraft landed safely in Boise where the emergency vehicles were given clearance to meet the aircraft on the runway. A United spokeswoman confirmed that the pilot unfortunately passed away at the hospital later that night.