The incident occurred about four hours into Flight 550, which then diverted to Syracuse and landed there around 7:10 a.m. Monday morning, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware . . .
While the death of a pilot during a flight could raise concern among uneasy fliers, the captain and first officer are each capable of flying commercial airliners alone. The Federal Aviation Administration requires two crew members in the cockpit at all times for just such an emergency.
“Pilots train for the incapacitation of another crew member,” said John Cox, a former airline pilot and now a consultant as head of Safety Operating Systems, “This would have been something the first officer was trained to deal with” . . .
Flight 550 was on an Airbus A320 and had 147 passengers and five crewmembers, according to American. The flight spent about four hours on the ground in Syracuse and then continued on to Boston after a replacement crew arrived to the aircraft in Syracuse. (Read more from “American Airlines Captain DIES While Flying Plane With Over 100 Passengers” HERE)