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Humble man identified as pilot who died after in-flight heart attack

THIS IS AN UPDATE: Published On: Sep 27 2013 04:28:05 AM CDT Updated On: Sep 27 2013 06:10:32 PM CDT The United Airlines captain who died after suffering a mid-flight heart attack has been identified as 63-year-old Henry Skillern, of Humble. The captain was piloting United Flight 1603 from Houston to Seattle when the emergency occurred just before 8 p.m. Thursday forcing an off-duty pilot to take over control of the plane. Two Madigan Army Medical Center doctors onboard performed CPR, according… ( More...

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I am shocked to learn about the passing of Henry "Rocky" Skillern. I was lucky enough to have him as our Captain when flying from Managua, Nicaragua this past summer. Rocky identified a serious problem with the bleed air system, and aborted the takeoff of the 737-800. Working with the ground crew, and the F.O. they did a later run-up of the No.2 engine on the ramp, and confirmed the problem. He dispatched mechanics from KIAH, who arrived on the next flight from Houston. Showing superior judgement and expertise, I nominated him for an "Outperform Recongition" award with United.

The mechanics worked all night out in the open. The next morning I was fortunate to meet Rocky personally, and we discussed the broken bleed air system, and the steps it took to make things safe for us. My heart goes out to the UAL flying community as we have lost a great aviator.
mfbutzin 1
Truly a great man....RIP Rocky.


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