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American Airlines pilot dies during flight between Phoenix to Boston

Published 05/10/2015

The Airbus A320 landed safely.
The Airbus A320 landed safely.

An American Airlines pilot died mid-flight while flying from Phoenix to Boston, according to airline officials.

Flight 550, with 147 passengers and five crew on board was forced to divert to Syracuse Hancock international airport after the pilot became ill where it was landed safely by the co-pilot.

A replacement crew was sent to the airport to allow the plane, an Airbus A320,  to complete the journey.

Before the flight landed at Syracuse, the first officer called the airport tower and in a calm voice said: "American 550. Medical emergency. Captain is incapacitated.”

He requested a runway to land.

In a recording of his exchange with the tower, the officer expresses concern whether ambulance medics can get on the plane quickly. He is assured that they can, and is told to go into a gate where the medics would meet the plane.

The pilot’s medical emergency and identity has not been disclosed.

An American Airlines spokesman said: "Unfortunately, our pilot passed away. We are incredibly saddened by this event, and we are focused on caring for our pilot’s family and colleagues.

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