A commercial flight from Miami to Chile was forced to make an emergency landing in Panama on Sunday night after the pilot, Iván Andaur, 56, collapsed and died in the airplane’s bathroom. Reports indicate that Andaur, who was piloting the Santiago-bound LATAM airlines flight, suffered a suspected cardiac arrest around 11 p.m.
The two co-pilots on board had to divert the flight to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. Meanwhile, a nurse and two doctors who were passengers on the flight attempted to resuscitate Andaur. The nurse, identified only as Isadora on social media, expressed regret that they did not have the necessary medical supplies to effectively perform resuscitation.
Isadora criticized LATAM airlines for not having a better protocol in place for medical emergencies. She emphasized the need for adequate resources on flights to handle such situations where lives could be at stake. It was not immediately clear what specific resources she was referring to.
According to one passenger, a co-pilot asked if there were any doctors on the plane approximately 40 minutes after takeoff. The same passenger recounted that passengers were informed they would be landing due to the pilot feeling unwell. Upon landing, the situation had deteriorated, and passengers were asked to evacuate the plane.
Passengers were accommodated in hotels in Panama City, and the flight resumed on Tuesday. LATAM airlines, in a statement to The Post, confirmed that all necessary protocols were followed during the flight to protect the life of the affected pilot. Despite receiving further medical assistance after landing, the pilot unfortunately passed away.
The airline expressed deep sorrow over the incident and extended its sincere condolences to the family of their employee. The tragic event underscores the need for airlines to review their protocols and resources for handling in-flight medical emergencies.