A fully vaccinated pilot has dropped dead mid-flight after suffering a cardiac arrest while flying a commercial plane carrying 271 passengers.
56-year-old Captain Ivan Andaur, the pilot of Flight LA505, was “up to date” on his Covid booster shots, as mandated by Latam Airlines.
While flying from Miami, Fla., to Santiago, Chile on Sunday, Andaur died suddenly mid-flight, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing and leaving hundreds of passengers stranded in Panama.
Andaur began feeling unwell three hours into the flight which was cruising at an altitude of 37,000ft.
He left the cockpit of the LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner to use the bathroom where he later collapsed.
Simple Flying reported: “The remaining flight crew, comprised of a relief captain and a first officer, elected to make an emergency diversion to Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport (PTY).”
“The aircraft landed safely on Panama City’s runway 03L about 28 minutes later.”
According to the Daily Mail: “Two co-pilots took control of the aircraft and landed at Tocumen International Airport, where paramedics entered the airplane and provided first aid to Andaur but he was pronounced dead”
A nurse onboard the aircraft reportedly attempted to help Capt. Andaur who appeared to be suffering a cardiac emergency.
However, she says she lacked the proper medical equipment to resuscitate the pilot.
“Unfortunately, we did not have the necessary or sufficient supplies to perform a good resuscitation,” the nurse identified as Isadora on social media said.
“There LATAM needs to improve the issue of protocol in case of health and medical emergencies like this where lives can be saved but the resources are needed.”
In a statement, LATAM Airlines commented that “flight LA505 yesterday, which was on the Miami-Santiago route, had to land at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama due to a medical emergency for one of the three members of the command crew.
“When the plane landed, emergency services provided life-saving help, but the pilot sadly passed away.”
After being stranded in Panama City for nearly six hours, 271 passengers were reportedly booked hotels and new flights to Chile’s capital city.
@canal13 @meganoticiascl @adnradiochile @TVN
Vuelo Latam La 505 Miami Santiago, al parecer murio el piloto y nos tiene botados en el aeropuerto sin información desde las 12 de la noche, personal de latam desapareció y no hay quien de información , llevamos casi 6 horas botados
— Frunfrun (@Frunfrun77) August 15, 2023
While the cause of Capt. Andaur’s cardiac arrest and his vaccination history are unclear, incidents like this were exactly what pilots who rallied against mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations were trying to avoid, especially considering the jabs’ known links to cardiovascular and cardiac issues.