An American Eagle Embraer 175 is seen on the tarmac through an aircraft window at LAX in Los Angeles, California, USA, on January 10, 2018.
Lucy Nicholson | Reuters
An Envoy Air flight returned to Chicago shortly after takeoff Saturday night after the pilot was incapacitated and later died, the carrier said Tuesday.
“Despite the heroic efforts of those on board and first responders on the ground, our colleague died in hospital,” said Envoy Air, a regional carrier owned by American Airlines, he said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened and are doing everything we can to support his family and our colleagues at this time.”
Capt. Ric Wilson, Envoy’s vice president of flight operations, said in a memo to personnel that the pilot was a captain in training.
The representative did not comment on the cause of the medical emergency. The Air Line Pilots Association, the union that represents Envoy pilots, had no comment.
Envoy Air Flight 3556, an Embraer E175, flying for the parent company American AirlinesAccording to FlightRadar24, American Eagle returned to Chicago O’Hare International Airport at 7:57 p.m. local time, 37 minutes after departing for Columbus, Ohio.
An audio recording of messages to air traffic controllers indicates that “the captain is incapacitated,” according to ATCLive, which has an archive on its website. “We’re going to need a paramedic,” said a person on the recording who appeared to be the flight’s other pilot.
Commercial jet aircraft have a crew of at least two pilots.
The Federal Aviation Administration said it was investigating, and a spokeswoman said such incidents were rare.