NEWARK, N.J. — An American Airlines pilot suffered a fatal heart attack while landing a jumbo jet with 94 people aboard, but the co-pilot took the controls and brought the plane safely to a stop, the airline said Sunday.
Capt. Don L. Ely, 51, was stricken Saturday night as the DC-10 was landing at Newark International Airport, American Airlines spokesman Lee Elsesser said.
It was not clear whether co-pilot Tom Meeker landed the plane or took the controls when the craft was on the ground.
Meeker told airport police that Ely slumped over the controls while the plane was about 50 feet above the runway and that Meeker landed and taxied the plane to the terminal, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said.