The pilot of a packed commercial airplane carrying 271 passengers died suddenly mid-flight, forcing the jet to make an emergency landing.
Captain Ivan Andaur, the pilot of Flight LA505 flying from Miami, Florida to Santiago, Chile, suffered an unexpected cardiac arrest in the middle of the flight on Sunday evening.
The remaining flight crew was forced to make an emergency landing in Panama.
The incident happened three hours into the trip after Captain Ivan Andaur began feeling sick at a cruising altitude of 37,000ft.
He then left the cockpit of the LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner to use the bathroom where he later collapsed.
“The remaining flight crew, comprised of a relief captain and a first officer, elected to make an emergency diversion to Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport (PTY),” according to SimpleFlying.com.
“The aircraft landed safely on Panama City’s runway 03L about 28 minutes later.”
“Two co-pilots took control of the aircraft and landed at Tocumen International Airport, where paramedics entered the airplane and provided first aid to Andaur but he was pronounced dead,” reports Daily Mail.
A nurse onboard the aircraft reportedly attempted to help Capt. Andaur who appeared to be suffering a cardiac emergency, however, she says she lacked the proper medical equipment to resuscitate the pilot.
“Unfortunately, we did not have the necessary or sufficient supplies to perform a good resuscitation,” the nurse identified as Isadora on social media said.
“There LATAM needs to improve the issue of protocol in case of health and medical emergencies like this where lives can be saved but the resources are needed.”
In a statement, LATAM Airlines commented that “flight LA505 yesterday, which was on the Miami-Santiago route, had to land at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama due to a medical emergency for one of the three members of the command crew.
“When the plane landed, emergency services provided life-saving help, but the pilot sadly passed away.”
After being stranded in Panama City for nearly six hours, 271 passengers were reportedly booked hotels and new flights to Chile’s capital city.