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American Pilot Dies After “Medical Issue” During Landing

First Officer William “Mike” Grubbs dead prior to arrival in Albuquerque

American Airlines pilots are mourning one of their own after the sudden and untimely passing of a first officer working a flight bound for Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Albuquerque Journal reports American Airlines Flight 1353 first officer William “Mike” Grubs died while in the cockpit prior to landing.

The incident began before 3 p.m. local time, as the flight was preparing to land at Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ). The pilot immediately declared a medical emergency aboard the aircraft and landed around 3:30 p.m. After a short taxi, paramedics met the aircraft to care for Grubs. Witnesses say that first-responders attempted CPR to revive the first officer for over half an hour, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to save the pilot’s life.

“American Airlines is deeply saddened by the death of first officer William “Mike” Grubbs,” read a statement from the airline provided to the Albuquerque Journal. “We’re taking care of first officer Grubbs family and colleagues and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this time.”

According to a count by the Allied Pilots Association (APA), over 70 pilots have died while in control of a commercial aircraft for American. However, many of those deaths were the result of aircraft accidents. The last time an American pilot died while flying due to an illness was October 2015, when captain Michael Johnston died on an American flight between Phoenix and Boston.

Officials for ABQ said no flights were affected by the situation and no passengers were injured during the emergency landing. The APA has not issued a statement on the first officer’s death.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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vishalgupta22 March 31, 2017

RIP Mike