The Captain of a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight from Muscat to Dhaka with 124 passengers onboard suffered a heart attack mid-flight but despite the efforts of cabin crew to resuscitate the pilot, he never regained consciousness and was later pronounced dead in hospital.
The pilot was identified by local media as Nawshad Ataul Quaiyum, a respected 49-year-old Captain who is survived by his wife, two daughters and son.
The First Officer took control of the aircraft after Quaiyum collapsed during the August 27 flight and requested permission to divert to Nagpur airport in India. The plane landed without incident around 40 minutes after the Captain was initially taken ill.
Cabin crew performed CPR on the pilot and called for a doctor onboard. Despite their best efforts, Quaiyum was later pronounced dead. Local media reported that he was kept on ventilation support until his family members arrived at the hospital.
According to sources quoted by the Aviation Herald, the Captain died as a result of a brain haemorrhage.
Incidents like this are rare but not unheard of. In 2015, an American Airlines pilot on a red-eye flight from Phoenix to Boston also suffered a heart attack mid-flight. Michael Johnston, 57, “passed away while at work” according to a statement from the airline.
Passengers onboard the flight say they heard an announcement say that a member of crew was unwell before the flight diverted but only found out the Captain had died when they overheard crew talking on the plane that took them the rest of the way to Boston.
Just over a year later, the Captain of a KLM flight suffered a heart attack just before departure from Glasgow Airport. Crew were able to successfully resuscitate the pilot before he was transferred to a local hospital in a stable condition.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.