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LATAM Airlines Pilot Dies En Route from Miami to Santiago

Photo by Lukas Koo Man Ho

In a rare and tragic incident, a LATAM Airlines pilot passed away mid-flight during a scheduled journey from Miami to Santiago. The flight was diverted to Panama City following the pilot’s incapacitation, where he was subsequently pronounced dead.

The Unfortunate Turn of Events

LATAM Airlines’ flight, with the call sign LA505, departed from Miami International Airport heading to Santiago de Chile, the capital of Chile, on Monday, August 14th. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, bearing the registration CC-BGI, had 271 passengers on board. Approximately three hours into the flight, the commanding pilot, Captain Ivan Andaur, began to feel unwell.

As reported by The Aviation Herald, while cruising at an altitude of 37,000ft, Captain Andaur left the cockpit to visit the bathroom. Tragically, he collapsed soon after, and despite the immediate efforts of fellow crew members to assist him, the captain’s condition deteriorated.

LATAM Airlines - Photo by: Jeffrey.W
Photo by: Jeffrey.W

Recognizing the gravity of the situation, the remaining flight crew, which included a relief captain and a first officer, made the critical decision to divert the plane to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. Just 28 minutes after the decision was made, the aircraft safely touched down on runway 03L.Once on the ground, medical teams arrived promptly. However, Captain Andaur, who had dedicated 25 years of his life to flying with LATAM, was declared dead.

LATAM’s Statement on the Incident

LATAM Airlines

Expressing deep sorrow over the tragic turn of events, LATAM Airlines issued an official statement:

“ LATAM Airlines Group is devastated to report that our flight LA505, en route from Miami to Santiago, had to be diverted to Tocumen International Airport in Panama due to a medical emergency concerning one of our flight crew members. Despite immediate medical intervention upon landing, our beloved pilot unfortunately passed away.”

LATAM Airlines

The statement further read,

“ The loss deeply affects us, and our heartfelt condolences go out to our employee’s family. We remember and honor his 25-year-long service marked by dedication, professionalism, and commitment. During the flight, every necessary safety protocol was diligently followed to prioritize the affected pilot’s life.”

LATAM Airlines

After the unfortunate incident, the flight finally left Panama City on Tuesday, August 15th, at 17:24 local time. It safely reached Santiago later that evening at 23:55, with a delay of 5 hours and 31 minutes.

We, at Aviation for Aviators, are deeply saddened by the tragic event surrounding LA505. We extend our sincerest condolences to Captain Andaur’s family, friends, and all of the LATAM staff.

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