One of two Captain’s working on a LATAM Airlines flight from Miami to Santiago de Chile reportedly became incapacitated around three hours after takeoff on Monday and later died, according to local media reports.
LATAM flight 505 departed Miami International Airport at around 10:00 pm on Monday but was forced to make an emergency diversion to Tocumen Airport in Panama, where the Boeing 787 Dreamliner was met by medical personnel.
According to some reports, the Captain had stepped out of the flight deck to use the lavatory after feeling unwell but collapsed a short time later. Flight attendants rushed to the pilot’s aid and immediately started emergency life support, including CPR.
Tragically, despite the best efforts of the aircrew, the pilot was pronounced dead on arrival in Panama, Aviation Herald reports.
There were three pilots, including two Captain’s were assigned to operate the flight, so there were always two pilots at the controls of the aircraft. The aircraft remains stranded in Panama, and passengers have complained that LATAM has not offered them any support.
LATAM Airlines told local media that the pilot had worked for the carrier for more than 25 year.
In a statement, the airline said: “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 continued.
The flight is expected to continue onto Santiago at 4 pm on Tuesday.
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.