There is great sadness at Alaska Airlines: A young pilot died suddenly and unexpectedly during a layover in his hotel room. He leaves behind his wife and two small children. His father had already been a pilot for this airline; His wife works there as a flight attendant.
A posting in the “Alaska Airlines Flight Crew to Heaven” group reads (translated into German):
It is with great sadness that I have to inform you that one of our colleagues has passed away.
Seattle-based Captain Eric McRae tragically passed away yesterday during a stopover. Although completely unexpected and untimely, we have no reason to believe that this was a crime.
Eric has strong ties to the Alaska Airlines family. Eric was a proud father and had two beautiful young children with his wife Chayla, an Alaska Airlines flight attendant. His father is retired Alaska Captain Tom McRae.
Out of respect for Eric’s family’s need for peace and time to grieve, we will not be releasing any further details at this time. We will continue to support the family in any way we can.
If a service is planned, we will communicate details based on the family’s wishes.
According to McRae’s LinkedIn profile, he began studying aerospace technology at Arizona State University in 2004. Considering that he was approximately 18 years old at the time, he died at an estimated age of 37. As is often the case, their vaccination status is unclear. The fact is that many airlines required corona vaccination for a long time. Entry rules during the so-called pandemic ensured that vaccination seemed inevitable for airline personnel: Unvaccinated people have only been allowed to re-enter the United States for a few months.
It may have been fortunate for McRae’s passengers that tragic death did not occur during the flight, but that would be little consolation to his bereaved family. There are many commenters on the airline’s Facebook group who knew the young pilot and his wife personally and will miss them dearly.
Already in August, a real wave of deaths of pilots came to the media: within ten days there were five sudden and unexpected deaths (Report 24). Readers can judge for themselves whether these are unfortunate individual cases. In the past, we have repeatedly reported a significant increase in medical emergencies and unexpected deaths among pilots: