Pilot dies aboard American Airlines flight in US

American Airlines passenger planes on the tarmac at Miami International Airport in the US.
American Airlines passenger planes on the tarmac at Miami International Airport in the US.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON - American Airlines has confirmed that a pilot died on Wednesday (March 30) aboard a US flight from Dallas to Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to reports.

The pilot was identified as first officer William “Mike” Grubbs, a company spokeswoman told the Albuquerque Journal.

“American Airlines is deeply saddened by the death of first officer William “Mike” Grubbs,” she said.

“We’re taking care of first officer Grubbs' family and colleagues and our thoughts and prayers are with them them during this time.”

Grubbs, who was based in Dallas, collapsed in the cockpit on Wednesday (March 30) afternoon as the crew of Flight 1353 was preparing to land, according to reports.

Albuquerque airport spokesman Dan Jiron said the Boeing 737-800 was just over 3km from landing when the captain declared a medical emergency.

After it landed, authorities found Grubbs dead.

Jiron told the Journal that the emergency had not affected the airport and no passengers were injured.

"They landed without incident, taxied to the gate and were met by medical personnel," he told the Journal.

In 2015, an American Airlines pilot died in a medical emergency on an overnight flight from Phoenix to Boston.The flight was safely diverted by the co-pilot to Syracuse, New York.