When a flight is in the air, the only thing standing between the passengers and danger is the skill of the pilot, keeping the plane flying or landing safely. Towards this end, the pilot needs to be in perfectly good health, quick to react, able to think quickly, and very skilled. But, what happens when some sudden misfortune strikes the pilot ? There is a co-pilot who can take over, but typically the pilot has a much higher level of skill than the co-pilot. Consider the tragedy that occurred to this pilot, and the danger to the passengers of the Qatar Airlines flight (link to article):
Qatar Airways diverted its Manila-Doha flight to Kuala Lumpur early yesterday after the pilot suffered a massive heart attack on board and later died. The co-pilot flew the plane (Flight No QR645), with roughly 260 passengers on board, to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) for emergency landing. He requested the KLIA authorities for permission to land after the pilot complained of chest pain, and urged that a medical team be kept ready so that the pilot could be provided medical care.
But the medical team declared the pilot dead after the flight landed at KLIA. The passengers on board were not told about the pilot’s condition, it is learnt. The deceased, Ajay Kukreja, was an Indian in his early forties. The flight took off from Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport early yesterday.