United pilot suffers fatal heart attack on Seattle-bound flight; plane makes emergency landing

The pilot of a Seattle-bound flight suffered a fatal heart attack Thursday night, prompting the plane from Houston to make an emergency landing in Boise.

Boise airport spokeswoman Patti Miller says initial reports said the flight's captain suffered the heart attack. But United Airlines spokeswoman Christen David says paramedics met the flight and took the crew member to the hospital.

The pilot was identified by the coroner Friday afternoon as 63-year-old Henry Skillern, from Humble, Texas. Skillern, who worked at the airline for 26 years, was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital, and died three hours later.

At some point during the flight, a crew member went on the plane’s intercom and asked if there was medical personnel on board, KIRO 7 reported. Two passengers responded. The plane was met by paramedics on the ground who took the crew member to the hospital where he died, the report said.

The 161 passengers eventually made it to Seattle early Friday morning, the report said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report