Flight diverted for pilot illness
BOISE, Idaho — Flights get diverted to Boise all the time, says Boise airport spokeswoman Patti Miller. The small southwestern Idaho airport has had three flights diverted for medical emergencies in just the past two days.
But when United Airlines Flight 1603 from Houston to Seattle told the tower Thursday night that it needed to make an emergency landing, the medical emergency was happening to the pilot, who later died.
The first officer radioed the tower to report the medical emergency at 7:55 p.m. Thursday, Miller said. By 8:10 p.m., the plane was on the ground and Boise firefighters were wheeling a stairway over to the aircraft so they could disembark pilot Henry Skillern and take him to a hospital.
Skillern, a 63-year-old from Humble, Texas, died while he was being treated for a sudden heart attack in Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center. He had been a pilot for United Airlines for 26 years, United spokeswoman Christen David said.
There were 161 passengers aboard the Boeing 737-900, and the passengers appeared to handle the emergency well, Miller said.
“It seemed like they felt that everything that could be done, was being done. The passengers were concerned for him, but everyone was very calm,” she said.
Passenger Ken Martin told Seattle TV station KOMO a first-year resident doctor sitting next to him volunteered to help perform CPR.
She told Martin the pilot appeared to weigh more than 300 pounds and was taken into the first class cabin for CPR.
Another pilot flew the original plane and passengers to Sea-Tac Airport, David said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- License plate scanner networks gotcha
- Daughter says of Utah doctor: He’s a ‘monster’
- U.S., Canadian jets intercept 8 Russian aircraft
- White House evacuated for fence jumper
- Benghazi death prompts $2M suit
- Italian village to honor World War II U.S. bomber pilots
- Ten Commandments lawsuit tossed
- Home Depot warns 56 million cards at risk
- Even record-setting retardant drops barely slow Calif. blaze
- Chief justice worried about partisanship
- White House targets sexual assaults on college campuses