Jakarta. A Citilink plane returned to base and made an emergency landing at Juanda International Airport, Surabaya after about 40 minutes of flight due to pilot incapacity and the pilot was pronounced dead upon landing on Thursday.
The flight QG-307 bound to the South Sulawesi capital of Makassar left Juanda at 06:10 a.m. and touched down at the same airport at 06:56 a.m. after making a mayday call, according to a press statement from Citilink.
The pilot is identified as Boy Awalia, 48, but it remains unclear whether it's him or the co-pilot, or an inflight reserve pilot who landed the plane.
“When our medical staff arrived at the plane, the pilot’s pulse was not palpable," Dr. Acub Zainal, the head of the Surabaya Port Health Office (KKP), told Antara news agency.
Boy was rushed to the nearest hospital and doctors confirmed he was already dead, he added.
The low-cost carrier said the pilot and all cabin crew members have passed the mandatory pre-flight medical checkup.
“Citilink Indonesia has conducted the medical checkup procedure on all crew members prior to the flight and all of them were declared fit for duty,” Dewa Kadek Rai, the company’s president director, said in a statement.
All 117 passengers were transferred to another plane and proceeded on their flight to Makassar at 10:46 a.m., he said.
“The Citilink management offers our deepest condolences for the loss of our pilot, who was known as a very decent and highly-dedicated person during his time with us,” Dewa said.
Boy, who has become a pilot for 28 years, was buried at Pondok Kelapa Public Cemetery in East Jakarta on Thursday evening.
He is survived by his wife and two children.