Man Dies on Flight, Miami-Bound American Airlines Plane Diverted to Norfolk

Posted May 19th 2011 08:00 AMUpdated May 20th 2011 01:20 PM


Deceased Passenger Diverts Miami Flight to Norfolk


A Miami-bound American Airlines flight was forced to divert to Norfolk Wednesday because a male passenger died on board, reports WVEC-TV.

The flight, which originated in New York, landed at approximately 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Norfolk International Airport. Passengers de-boarded as police investigated.

"About 20 minutes into the flight, the 73-year-old man began to feel ill. There was a doctor on board. CPR was administered and AED on board also was used," spokesman Wayne Shank told local Norfolk station Unfortunately paramedics were unable to revive the man.

The plane was expected to continue to its destination once the investigation concluded and the deceased passenger removed, but was still at the Norfolk airport as of Thursday morning

In August 2010, a 57-year old woman died on a Delta flight from Lagos, Nigeria to Atlanta roughly 11 hours into the flight. It was later determined that she had died of ovarian cancer.

WATCH local coverage below:
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NORFOLK, Va. -- A 73-year-old passenger who was complaining of feeling ill has died on board an American Airlines flight and the plane has been diverted to Virginia.
Norfolk Airport Authority executive director Wayne Shank says the New York-to-Miami flight landed at Norfolk International Airport shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The passenger had complained he wasn't feeling well about 20 minutes after the flight took off from John F. Kennedy International Airport. Crew members' efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
* * * Why you keep telling to the press that my husband got sick 20 minutes after he arrive to the plane ? // that is a lie, he was already sick prior, he even asked the stuart for a glass of water and an aspirine Shank says the state medical examiner's office will determine what caused his death. He declined to release the man's name, but said he was a Miami resident.

July 08 2011 at 9:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Real History made by his close family, his wife: I don't care about the spelling, but I do care about my husband, at this moment its has been over a month later and we are still waiting for the cause of his death. The death certificate is still indicating '' Pending.'' As soon we boarded the plane before the plane took off he asked for water and aspirin, that glass of water took her at least 10 minutes. Because we were the last two passengers that arrived everybody noticed that my husband wasn't feeling well and looked ill. His color was very pale, except for the AA staff. (you all know when the place is full of people and you arrive last , everybody looks at you. ) As soon as the plane took off he got up and went to the bathroom and came back telling me that he couldn't breathe; I asked the same lady that brought him the water that he needed Oxygen and in my opinion: she took forever until one of the other passengers that realized what was going on started screaming for help. She came with a small tank and placed the mask on his face attached to the string back to his head and she left. My husband still couldn't breathe and his look was different like he didn't recognize me or trying to tell me I don't know what... When that happened, I asked for help and I can't tell you, If the tank was full, or empty all I know at that moment that I couldn't do anything for him and he needed help. I had to start screaming along with other passengers for someone to come and assist my husband. But I don't have him anymore after 40 years and my family is in pain day and night. Our daughter and granddaughter were counting days to see us again after 47 vacation days. Also we do had his "primary care physician" approval for this vacation and he told us that we really will enjoy the trip. to Europe. Also I need to explain that we had dinner from Barcelona to NY, nice dinner and he never complained about it Before we took the flightd from NY to Miami he start feeling weak and he arrived at the plane in a Wheel chair ( which he never needed before ) Nothing can bring me back my husband. I want to thank to ALL all the Passengers that expressed their condolences , an especially to Vanessa and her father that gave me the support that I can't image you can receive from a stranger. She was like an Angel that I can't thank enough for their loving care. She kept in communication with me till the end of this nightmare trip with my daughter in Miami. I'm starting to believe in Angels, those angels that gave me the support that I needed at that moment and more, I can't express myself for all their kindness and loving people.. Also those kind passengers that came to me and hugged me, even cried with me, I will never forget those sad moments of my life. God bless all the Passengers of May 18th / 19th 2011 from NY to Miami in American Airlines.

July 06 2011 at 8:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The passenger that passed away at this flight was a very dear friend of ours, that was coming back from a vacation trip from Europe with his wife. This was a very sad and traumatic experience, for his wife that was traveling with him , for his daughter that was anxiously waiting for her fathers return, and for other family members and friends. We want to thank those of you that have send messages of condolences.

June 22 2011 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Maxine Smith

The man who was declared dead on the American Airlines Flight?? could have only been declared DEAD IF a MD was on board that was qualified to pronounce death. Other wise, he could no have been declared. For one to be declared death on an airplane, then their has to been someone who is qualified to sign a death certificate. Pilots or Flight attendandts are NOT qualified to pronounce death. So, the passenger has to be assumed not dead until a certified person than can sign a death certificate makes the decision. A big issues flying internatonal. An American MD. well will the foreign Country accept his Medical Licenses?????

June 20 2011 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to Maxine Smith's comment

It was a B763 another words a 767-300

May 20 2011 at 12:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone stop to think that the "m" at the end of the word unfortunately, was supposed to be a comma? Not a mispelled word as much as a typo????

May 19 2011 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so what.....they communicated and we understood them. Get over it.

May 19 2011 at 5:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to tobeckon's comment

Yeah, communicated poorly. I sure hope your doctor can spell and punctuate correctly.

May 20 2011 at 11:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh BTW, I tried to standby my flight out of SYR and lo and unbehold came that Delta's Boeing 777 diverted into SYR (it was flying from JFK to SEA). As soon as I saw that...I rented a car and drove to Albany! Needlessly to say I was NOT happy about it!

May 19 2011 at 5:48 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cdpflanzer's comment

Really sorry you were inconvenienced *******

July 13 2011 at 3:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was a Boeing 767! Thank God, they left last night instead of the next morning. This would be the worst nightmare for standby passengers in other oversold flights! Prayers goes out to the family!

May 19 2011 at 5:45 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

in a related story, a man died in Ohio today.

May 19 2011 at 4:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply