(CNN) — The 161 passengers aboard United Flight 1603 must have known something was wrong when a crew member announced through the cabin loudspeaker if anyone aboard was a physician.
Capt. Henry Skillern, 63, was suffering a heart attack.
The in-flight emergency Thursday night that began somewhere in the skies between Houston and Seattle prompted the 737 to divert to Boise, Idaho. Air traffic controllers radioed the plane’s first officer who updated them with the captain’s condition.
“We got a man down, chest compressions going on right now,” the first officer said. “I’m not sure too much right now on status.”
Once it was on the ground, first responders boarded the airliner and rushed Skillern to Boise’s Saint Alphonsus hospital, where he later died.