Pilot dies in airplane bathroom with 271 passengers on board, forcing emergency landing
Despite the flight having a nurse and two doctors onboard who attempted to save the pilot, they were unable to revive him
August 17, 2023 1:44pm
Updated: August 18, 2023 8:39am
A pilot flying a commercial flight from Miami to Chile collapsed and died in the bathroom of the airplane carrying 271 passengers, forcing an emergency landing in Panama on Sunday.
Pilot Ivan Andaur, 56, suffered an apparent severe cardiac arrest while on the Santiago-bound LATAM Airlines flight at around 11 p.m.
About 40 minutes after the plane took off from Miami, one of the co-pilots asked the passengers if there were any doctors onboard the plane. Despite the flight having a nurse and two doctors onboard who attempted to save the pilot, they were unable to revive him.
“Unfortunately, we did not have the necessary or sufficient supplies to perform a good resuscitation,” said the nurse on social media.
The loss of the airplane’s pilot prompted the co-pilots to make an emergency landing at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City three hours after its initial take-off.
“They told us that we were going to land because the pilot felt sick and when we arrived they asked us to evacuate the plane because the situation had worsened,” said a passenger, who was not identified.
The pilot was pronounced dead by emergency services once the plane touched down.
Passengers were provided accommodations in hotels in Panama City until their flight resumed the following day, according to a statement issued by LATAM Airlines.
“We are deeply moved by what has happened, and we extend our sincere condolences to the family of our employee. We are deeply grateful for his 25-year career and his valuable contribution, which was always distinguished by his dedication, professionalism, and dedication. During the flight, all the necessary safety protocols were carried out to safeguard the life of the affected pilot,” the statement said.