The Chilean carrier LATAM has confirmed that a pilot who flew for the airline for 25 years has died after the aircraft made an emergency landing at Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner was travelling from Miami International Airport (MIA) on August 14, 2023, when the pilot became ill and required emergency aid.
The flight, with 271 passengers on board, was three hours into its journey to Santiago in Chile when the pilot reportedly became incapacitated and required assistance from the flight crew.
According to Newsroom Panama, the Civil Aeronautical Authority of Panama said it received a call from Flight LA505 asking to enter Panamanian airspace and land at PTY.
There were three pilots on board the flight, so the aircraft was able to land safely with two people at the controls.
“Latam Airlines Group reports 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,” a spokesperson for LATAM said.
When the plane landed, emergency services provided life-saving help, but the pilot sadly passed away.
“We are deeply moved by what has happened and we extend our sincere condolences to the family of our employee. We are deeply grateful for his 25-year career and his valuable contribution, which was always distinguished by his dedication, professionalism and dedication. During the flight, all the necessary safety protocols were carried out to safeguard the life of the affected pilot,” LATAM said.
The aircraft eventually continued onto Santiago on August 15, 2023, at around 5:30 pm local time.