Pilot dies after plane makes emergency landing at Boise Airport

Credit: Dylan Ashe

A file photo of a United Airlines 737 landing at the San Jose Airport

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by KTVB.COM

KTVB.COM

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 4:31 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 5:54 AM

BOISE -- A Boeing 737 was forced to make an emergency landing Thursday night in Boise after the 63-year-old pilot reportedly suffered a heart attack while flying and later died.

Ada County Coroner Erwin L. Sonnenberg identified the pilot as 63-year-old Henry Skillern of Humble, Texas. Skillern was pronounced dead at 11:55 p.m.

KING5 in Seattle reports the United Airlines 737 had been flying to Seattle from Houston when it was diverted to to Boise around 8 p.m.

Crew members reportedly stayed calm during the emergency, made an announcement over the intercom, and asked if a doctor was aboard the plane.

According to KING5, that's when a doctor and two soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord began to perform CPR on Skillern.

Passengers say another person on board who trains 737 pilots took over as co-pilot while the original co-pilot took over as captain.

Paramedics boarded the flight and removed the 63-year-old pilot upon landing. Skillern was pronounced dead at the Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, according to a hospital spokesperson.

All 161 passengers eventually made it to Seattle after another pilot was flown to Boise from San Francisco to continue the flight.

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