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Pilot passes away mid-flight, prompting emergency diversion

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Pilot passes away mid-flight, prompting emergency diversion

An airline pilot collapsed in the bathroom during a Miami to Chile flight, leaving the entire aircraft, carrying 271 passengers, in shock and sadness.

Captain Ivan Andaur, a 25-year veteran pilot, began feeling unwell during the LATAM Airlines flight from Florida to Santiago, prompting urgent attention from the crew. Sadly, after collapsing in the bathroom, Captain Andaur received emergency treatment but could not be revived.

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To ensure the safety of everyone on board, the flight was promptly diverted to Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport, a process that took approximately 30 minutes. Tragically, upon landing, first responders declared Captain Andaur deceased.

The LA505 flight, operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, had a relief captain and first officer onboard at the time of the incident, ensuring the continuity of the flight’s operations.

LATAM Airlines Group issued a heartfelt statement in response to the incident, expressing deep sorrow and offering sincere condolences to Captain Andaur’s family. They praised his 25-year career marked by unwavering dedication, professionalism, and valuable contributions to the airline. The statement emphasized that all necessary safety protocols had been diligently followed during the flight to prioritize the affected pilot’s well-being.

Despite the tragedy, the flight carried on its journey, departing from Panama City on Tuesday, en route to Chile.

Captain Ivan Andaur was 56 years old, according to the New York Post. His untimely passing serves as a poignant reminder of the crucial medical certification requirements for airline pilots in the United States. Pilots under 40 must renew their medical certificates annually, while those over 40 must renew them every six months.

This heartbreaking event echoes a similar incident in March, where a Southwest Airlines flight had to return to Las Vegas’ Harry Reid International Airport due to a pilot falling ill shortly after departure. Fortunately, an off-duty pilot from another airline, who happened to be a passenger, assisted with radio communications as the flight safely returned to the Nevada city.

As the aviation community mourns the loss of Captain Ivan Andaur, their compassion and support extend to his family, friends, and colleagues. The memories of his exemplary service and dedication will forever be cherished.

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