The pilot received medical attention after the emergency landing, but doctors were unable to save him

By Joelle Goldstein
November 26, 2019 08:11 PM
Aeroflot Airlines
Nicolas Economou/Getty Images

A Russian airline pilot tragically lost his life doing what he loved after he suffered a fatal heart attack this week, causing his flight to make an emergency landing mid-flight.

The Aeroflot passenger plane had departed from Moscow on Sunday and was on its way to Anapa — a Russian town located on the northern coast of the Black Sea — when the medical emergency occurred, Russian state news agency TASS reports.

Just before 10 a.m., the second pilot reportedly felt sick and requested that the first pilot land the plane. The aircraft eventually made its emergency landing at Platov International Airport in Rostov-on-Don around 9:57 a.m., according to the local outlet.

The co-pilot, whose identity has not been released, but was believed to be around 49 years old, received medical attention at the scene. However, doctors were sadly unable to save the co-pilot, who died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

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A preliminary cause of death was reportedly determined as a heart attack, according to TASS.

No other passengers or Aeroflot employees were injured in the incident. The Russian Investigative Committee’s southern investigative department is currently investigating, TASS reports.

In a statement to CNN, the Russian airline company said: “Everyone at Aeroflot is deeply saddened by our colleague’s death, and we extend our sincere condolences to his friends and loved ones.”

The Aeroflot spokesperson also added to the outlet that the pilot had a “clean medical history” and had even passed a summer examination and medical tests just one day before the tragic incident.

A spokesperson for Aeroflot did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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This is the second time this year that an Aeroflot pilot has had to make an emergency landing. In January, the aircraft on its way to Moscow was forced to land in Siberia after a drunk passenger attempted to hijack the plane, CNN reports.

The male passenger was later detained by authorities, while all passengers and crew members safely exited the aircraft in Khanty-Mansiys, a city located in western Siberia.

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