American Airlines co-pilot dies suddenly after landing

American Airlines plane

A pilot has died suddenly after helping land a fully laden American Airlines plane in the United States.

Near the end of the flight from Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas to Albuquerque, New Mexico, the captain declared an emergency due to a "medical issue" on board, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

The co-pilot - first officer William 'Mike' Grubbs had become ill. He died soon after the plane landed safely.

Emergency services performed CPR for up to 40 minutes before pronouncing him dead.

There are no details as to how Mr Grubbs died.

American Airlines said in a statement it's "deeply saddened" by his passing.

"We are taking care of First Officer Grubbs' family and colleagues, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time."

Passengers were reportedly unaware of the gravity of the situation until after they exited the plane.

The plane's safe landing was remarkable, reports say. During the final approach in a Boeing 737, most tasks can be handled safely by a single crew member, but it would be far more stressful, CNN reports.

The FAA said it "will follow up with the airline" to find out the details of Mr Grubb's death.