Just recently, and quite unusually, back-to-back mishaps involving two commercial airline pilots occurred mid-flight. The first incident, as reported by CBS News, involved an American Airlines pilot who died midair from as yet unknown causes. According to one of the network’s local affiliates, the pilot, identified as Michael Johnston of West Jordan, Utah, was commanding a flight from Boston to Phoenix on October 5. Reports said he first became ill during the flight and later died in the cockpit, with the co-pilot safely landing the plane after it diverted to Syracuse, New York.
Johnston’s wife said her husband likely died of a heart attack; however, as of this writing, no official autopsy confirmation of that claim has yet been reported. In what could only be deemed a similar and highly unlikely occurrence, the next day, a United Airlines co-pilot suddenly lost consciousness in the cockpit aboard a flight from Houston to San Francisco, forcing the plane to be diverted to Albuquerque International Su1nport in New Mexico. FULL REPORT