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The fear of crashing is probably one of the worst fears that people have related to flying. Second to crashing would be the pilots becoming incapacitated. The latter fear was realized earlier this week when the captain of a LATAM flight collapsed while flying between Miami, Florida, and Santiago, Chile. The LATAM Boeing 787 was diverted to Panama City, Panama to receive medical assistance. Unfornaturely, the captain was pronounced dead on the plane’s arrival.
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According to Simple Flying, LATAM Flight 505 was carrying 271 passengers to the Chilean capital on Monday. Three hours into the flight, 56-year-old Captain Ivan Andaur felt unwell and left the flight deck for the bathroom. He collapsed in the bathroom. Andaur would receive emergency assistance from other crew members onboard while the flight’s co-pilots requested to be diverted to Panama City, 28 minutes away.
LATAM released a statement regarding the incident, reading:
“LATAM Airlines Group reports 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.”
“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.”
LATAM Flight 505 was lucky that the journey was long enough to require three pilots to be onboard. The airline booked hotel rooms for the passengers and they continued on to Santiago the next day. A similar incident in March required a passenger, who happened to be an off-duty pilot with another carrier, to help land a Southwest Airlines flight in Las Vegas.