An American Airlines flight was forced to return to its take-off location Nov. 26 after the aircraft’s pilot suffered a medical emergency in-flight.
“We need to return. Captain is incapacitated,” the aircraft’s copilot told air traffic control.
American Eagle Flight 3556 had previously departed from Chicago O’Hare Airport, bound for Columbus, Ohio, according to CNBC.
FAA is now investigating after the captain of American Eagle (Envoy) Flight 3556 became incapacitated shortly after taking off from ORD Saturday night. The captain died later at a hospital. The copilot safely landed the plane at ORD. 57 passengers & crewpic.twitter.com/pcvFIuUCM9
— Kris Van Cleave (@krisvancleave) November 22, 2022
A copilot later confirmed that the incapacitated captain would require medical assistance upon arrival at the airport.
“We’re going to need paramedics,” the pilot said of the situation.
The flight was conducted by Envoy Air, a smaller company owned by American Airlines, according to CNBC.
The company confirmed that the ailing pilot later died at a hospital.
“Despite heroic efforts by those on board and first responders on the ground, our colleague passed away at the hospital,” Envoy said of the fatality in a statement.
“We’re deeply saddened and are doing all we can to support his family and our colleagues at this time.”
The pilot’s cause of death wasn’t immediately clear.
The death of the pilot has certainly raised some eyebrows as well. Given that pilots undergo rigorous health examinations, it’s certainly fair to ask what exactly happened.
Of note, the pilot’s vaccination status has not been revealed.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the circumstances of the in-flight emergency, according to CBS News. Federal law requires that two pilots man the controls of commercial aircraft at all times.
For American Airlines, the pilot’s tragic passing is the latest incident in what has been a rough 2022 for the beleaguered aviation titan.
In January, American Airlines came under fire for what many described as “hypocrisy” when it came to their different treatments of the “Let’s Go Brandon” phrase and BLM pins.
In April, American Airlines began offering the bizarre option for on-the-ground “flights.”
In July, a mother recounted the airline essentially losing her daughter — and losing a customer in the process as well.
In November, while this incident was hardly their fault, an American Airlines plane suffered some significant damage after being assaulted by bird strikes.
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