Pilot of Chilean commercial plane with 271 passengers on board suddenly collapses, dies on Sunday night after developing severe cardiac arrest leading to an emergency landing at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. Medical personnel swiftly responded to the crisis, however the pilot died in the process.
VERY SERIAL gathered that the pilot’s sudden collapse in the bathroom of a Miami to Chile commercial flight with 271 passengers onboard led to an emergency landing in Panama on Sunday night. Ivan Andaur, 56, the commander of the LATAM Airlines flight bound for Santiago, experienced a severe cardiac arrest at approximately 11 pm, according to the Sun.
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The aircraft’s co-pilots executed an emergency landing at Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, where medical personnel swiftly responded to the crisis.
A nurse named Isadora, along with two doctors among the passengers, rushed to aid the pilot while the plane was landing. Despite their efforts, he could not be revived. The pilot was pronounced dead after the aircraft landed in Panama City.
An account from a passenger recounted that about 40 minutes into the flight, a co-pilot issued a plea for any available doctors on board. As Andaur’s condition deteriorated, the decision was made to evacuate the plane upon landing due to the severity of the situation.
Passengers were accommodated in Panama City hotels while the flight operations resumed on Tuesday.
In response to the tragedy, LATAM Airlines conveyed their adherence to established protocols aimed at preserving lives during the flight. Regrettably, despite prompt medical attention upon landing, Ivan Andaur could not be saved.
The LATAM Group expressed deep sorrow over the unfortunate incident and extended condolences to the pilot’s bereaved family.
Pilot of the plane identified as 56-year-old Iván Andaur Sepúlveda
Chilean newspaper Las Últimas Noticias identified the pilot as 56-year-old Iván Andaur Sepúlveda, the captain of the plane.
During the flight, Mr Andaur began feeling unwell and went to the bathroom, the newspaper reported.
After a while, the crew realised the situation was serious and followed protocol to make an emergency landing so he could receive treatment.
The pilot died after receiving assistance on the ground.
LATAM Airlines said it had carried out all the necessary steps to safeguard the life of the pilot.
“At LATAM Airlines we are deeply saddened by what has happened and we extend our sincerest condolences to the family of our employee”, the airline said.
“We greatly appreciate his 25-year career and his valuable contribution, which was always distinguished by his dedication, professionalism and enthusiasm.”
Mr Andaur began his flying career as a fighter pilot for the Chilean Air Force in 1985, before moving to work as a commercial pilot for LATAM in 1998.
His colleagues have described him as kind, intelligent, an “extraordinary professional” and a “devoted father”.
He is survived by a daughter born in 1994.