IndiGo pilot collapses, dies at boarding gate prior to operating flight in India

Ja Crispy /

On August 17, 2023, an IndiGo pilot scheduled to operate a flight from Nagpur’s Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport (NAG) to Pune Airport (PNQ) collapsed and died at the airport boarding gate. 

The 40-year old pilot was seen by medics immediately, and was given CPR and rushed to the hospital, but was duly pronounced dead.

“We are saddened at the passing of one of our pilots in Nagpur. He took unwell at Nagpur airport and was rushed to the hospital where he unfortunately passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones,” an IndiGo spokesperson said, as reported by The Hindustan Times

India Today reported that the pilot, identified as Manoj Balasubramani, was ‘well-rested’ prior to his flight as mandated by guidelines of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

According to the DGCA, the Nagpur to Pune flight was Balasubramani’s first flight of the day, and he had taken 27 hours of rest since his previous flight.

Preliminary reports say that Balasubramani died due to “sudden cardiac arrest”.

Pilot and flight crew communities are growing concerned over the dangers of pilot fatigue. Balasubramani is the third pilot to die during a flight in a span of less than a week.

On August 14, 2023, a pilot from LATAM died while on a flight from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Santiago de Chile Airport (SCL).

On August 16, 2023, an off-duty Qatar Airways pilot died onboard a flight to Doha on which he was traveling as a passenger.

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