US/AA 550 (PHX-BOS) diverted to SYR, pilot passes away in flight


Old Oct 17, 15, 8:44 pm
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 334
Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
The flight deck of an A320 is a pretty cramped space, and the first officer's primary obligation is to fly the plane and set it down promptly. Removing a 180-200 pound man from the left seat and into the galley/aisle would have been a difficult task and would have required a crowd on the flight deck to accomplish and would have eaten up time when no lifesaving efforts would have taken place. Unless it's impossible to use the AED on a victim seated upright, I don't see anything wrong with attempting to revive him in place.

Presumably, the flight attendant used the on-board AED.

The flight attendant who attempted to revive the captain happens to be a nurse, so it's not an unlikely rumour.

RWPrincess mentioned a media report that the crew may not have asked if a doctor was on board and that a doctor may have witnessed the activity from the sidelines. If the crew didn't ask if a physician were onboard, that's troubling.
"RE: AA flight # 550 PHX-BOS (via Syracuse), IROPS.

I suspect that: (1) no USA commercial airline would allow a civilian (e.g. medically trained passenger) into the cockpit during an emergency landing (unless, perhaps, the civilian was a pilot, and emergency circumstances existed, that warranted the civilian's assistance landing the aircraft), (2) the Rock Star co-pilot needed to maintain his attention on getting the plane down (and boy, did he do one hell of a job at that), and needed a sterile cockpit, (3) they did not want to extricate the pilot from the cockpit to the front galley or first class aisle, for fear of frightening the passengers who could see the resuscitation (and would have to wonder who was flying the plane, and if they were safe), and (4) the risks of having crew/civilians resuscitating the pilot on the floor of the front galley or first class aisle, and having the rescuers unrestrained during an emergency landing , probably outweighed the potential benefits.

I don't know who provides American Airlines with in-flight Medical Direction, but I suspect that the co-pilot had a physician, somewhere making an educated, informed, calculated decision about what is in the pilot, co-pilot, crew, and passenger's best interests.

Sad for the pilot. Kudos to the co-pilot and crew."

Finally, if the FAA does not want me to have any electric devices turned on during take off or landing, I suspect (1) the same is true of a Semi-Automatic External Defibrillator that could potentially release a jolt of 200 - 300 joules of energy through the pilot and into his seat (Lord knows what if any interference that would have created for the aircrafts avionics), and (2) I maintain that the co-pilot needed a "sterile cockpit" - - no distractions - - so that he could get his aircraft and 150 souls on the ground, safely.

I nominate the co-pilot for AA's Rock Star co-pilot of the Year Award.

Sincerest and deepest condolences to the Pilot's family, and the pilot's crew.


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