Pilot Suffers Heart Attack Midflight, Co-Pilot Successfully Lands Plane

The pilot of a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane who suffered a heart attack midflight has died at a hospital in India after the co-pilot successfully managed to land the plane.

Nawshad Ataul Quaiyum, 49, a pilot on a Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight carrying 126 passengers to Dhaka in Bangladesh from Muscat in Oman was forced to call for an emergency landing at the Nagpur airport in India on August 27 after suffering a heart attack, according to The New Indian Express.

The affected flight was flown to the Nagpur airport by the co-pilot of the plane on Friday after crew members called the Kolkata Air Traffic Control to request an emergency landing and were told to travel to the airport.

Following the emergency landing in Nagpur, located around 1,400 kilometers (close to 870 miles) from Dhaka, Quaiyum was taken to the nearby Kingsway Hospital for treatment, but the outlet confirmed that he died at the medical facility at around 11:30 a.m. on Monday.

The Delhi correspondent for the Bangladesh-based The Daily Star reported that Quaiyum died while receiving ventilation support at the hospital, with the equipment removed in the presence of his family members.

The correspondent was told by a source at the hospital that it would take two days for Quaiyum's body to be taken to Dhaka, while Mahbubur Rahman, president of the Bangladesh Airlines' Pilot Association, told the outlet that it would transport his body back as soon as possible.

The Daily Star reported that Quaiyum previously made a successful emergency landing at the Dhaka airport in 2016 when one of the tires on the plane's landing gear burst with 149 passengers onboard.

Quaiyum is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. Shoaib Chowdhury, Quaiyum's former co-pilot, told the Daily Star: "As a pilot, he was well-reputed and was also a very good person."

Although it is rare for a pilot to have a heart attack in the middle of a flight, emergency landings are often caused by passengers falling ill on planes and needing medical attention.

In May, a Delta Airlines flight between San José del Cabo, Mexico to Seattle in the U.S. was diverted to Sacramento, California, after a passenger died onboard from natural causes.

The plane was diverted by the captain after the victim became ill, but despite landing in Sacramento just 20 minutes later, the emergency services were unable to save the man's life.

In July, an 84-year-old man on a Ryanair flight from Manchester, England, to Malaga, Spain, died midflight, despite efforts by crew members and other passengers to save him.

Newsweek has contacted Biman Bangladesh Airlines for comment.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane
Bangladeshi nationals disembark from a Biman Bangladesh Airlines' plane at the tarmac of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport. The pilot of a Biman Bangladesh Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at the Nagpur airport last week after he suffered a heart attack midflight has died. AFP via Getty Images