United Airlines pilot suffers fatal heart attack mid-flight

Captain who died following a heart attack has been identified as 63-year-old Henry Skillern

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The Independent Online

A US pilot who suffered a heart attack mid flight has died, despite receiving CPR from a doctor on board as an off duty pilot assisted in an emergency landing.

The pilot was transported to the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Centre for treatment but died overnight whilst receiving treatment.

He has now been identified as 63-year-old Henry Skillern of Humble, Texas.

Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg confirmed a heart attack had been the cause of death on Friday.

The United Airlines flight travelling from Houston to Seattle was carrying 161 passengers and six crew members when the pilot was taken ill.

Passenger Ken Martin told Seattle TV station KOMO that a first-year resident doctor volunteered to help perform CPR in the first class lounge. Another off duty pilot was a passenger on the flight and helped to land the plane safely in Boise airport.

 "I am sad to confirm that our co-worker passed away last night. Our thoughts are with his family at this time," spokeswoman for United Airlines Christen David said in a statement.

Another passenger said despite the situation, everyone on the flight remained calm. Bryant Magill told KOMO: "[The staff] kept themselves calm. They kept it professional. There was no panic on the plane."

The flight landed safely and was met by paramedics who took the pilot to the hospital.

Another pilot flew the original plane and passengers to Sea-Tac Airport.