Family remembers American Airlines pilot who died mid-flight

Family Remembers American Airlines Pilot Who Died Mid-Flight

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- In the air with more than 150 people on board, the pilot of American Airlines flight 550, Mike Johnston of West Jordan, had a heart attack.

The flight was on the way from Phoenix to Boston, when the co-pilot made an emergency stop in Syracuse, N.Y. Mike Johnston died before the wheels of the aircraft touched down.

See photos of Capt. Johnston and reports on social media:

Plane diverted due to pilot's midflight death
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Family remembers American Airlines pilot who died mid-flight
Pilot who died mid-flight was 'caring' dad of 8:
the pilot died on our redeye back to Boston (leading to 4h in Syracuse). life is short. do what you love before it's too late.
want to thank the crew from #us550 w me entire heart. they handled the situation today with grace. sending love to the pilot's family.
Passengers on an American Airlines flight diverted after the pilot died mid-flight are back in Boston @NECN
American Airlines confirms pilot passed away on flight; flight was diverted to Syracuse. Statement:
Prayers and thanks to the crew from #us550 PHX to BOS. I've heard they handled the situation professionally. Sending <3 to the pilot's fam.
We're so sorry to hear of the tragedy on #AA550 this morning. We're all on the same team @AmericanAir From all of the technical folks
Prayers to the family of one of our Captain who passed away, inflight, this morning. ❤️ #AA550 ✈️
Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the captain and his family who was flying #AA550 earlier today.

"We know that there was a flight attendant that was a nurse that tried to resuscitate him," said Shallyn Hogan, Mike Johnston's daughter.

Hogan is one of eight children Mike Johnston and his wife B.J. raised. The couple also has five grandchildren.

At the family home in West Jordan, much of the family gathered Monday to share memories.

American Airlines Pilot Dies Mid-Air During Phoenix to Boston Flight

"He was at an airshow, about 4 years old, and he was pointing up at the airplane saying, 'I'm going to fly me one of those someday,'" said Hogan, recalling a story her grandmother told earlier in the day.

Johnston flew commercial flights for 27 years. His wife, B.J. Johnston, said it was one of his passions. He also loved music and his family, who described as a man always willing to help another.

On Oct. 18, Mike and B.J. Johnston were set to celebrate 35 years of marriage with a trip to Hawaii.

B.J. Johnston said she will still go, it's what her husband would want her to do.

Surrounded by friends and family, B.J. Johnston said her faith is giving her strength.

"I know that I will see him again," she said. "We believe that we are together forever, that we are forever families and I know that he will be there and I will be able to see him again when I go from here."

Passengers Recount American Airlines Flight on Which Pilot Died
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