Plane Makes Emergency Landing After Pilot Suffers Fatal Heart Attack
The plane had been flying from Moscow to the popular Black Sea resort of Anapa, but had to land at Platov International Airport in Rostov-on-Don, southern Russia.
The 49-year-old co-pilot was later pronounced dead, despite the efforts of paramedics.
A spokesman from Russian state airline Aeroflot spokesman told local media: "Unfortunately it was not possible to resuscitate the pilot.
"He died in the ambulance. We express our sincere condolences to his family and friends."
After leaving Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport at 8.20am local time, Flight SU1546 landed at Rostov at 9.57am.
The Aeroflot Airbus 320 aircraft was flying at 33,000ft when the captain sought an immediate emergency landing at the nearest airport, local media said.
According to the Daily Star, one passenger recalled: "A female flight attendant ran through the plane asking if there was a doctor because one of the crew members was feeling unwell.
"Several minutes later we were told that the aircraft was performing an emergency landing."
Local media report that the preliminary cause of death was a heart attack or thrombosis, but the Russian Investigative Committee's southern investigative department has now launched a probe into the incident.
Back in August, pilot Damir Yusupov was hailed a hero after he had to make a terrifying emergency landing in a cornfield near Ramenskoye settlement in Moscow region.
After 'one engine caught fire and the other stopped working', Yusupov called for an emergency crash landing at the airport, but then decided to bring the plane down at the earliest opportunity.
He told 1TV channel that he also went back into the cockpit following the crash to call his wife and let her know what had happened.
He had no engine power when he landed, reports said.
The plane was heading from Simferopol, capital of Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.
News outlet 112 said the left engine caught fire when a bird got into it and at the same time the second engine stopped working. Passengers reported 'a flash and then a smell of smoke'.
Ural Airlines' press service said: "While taking off from Zhukovsky airport, multiple birds got into the engines of the plane of the flight U6178.
"The plane had an emergency landing. The crew and passengers were not hurt."
Featured Image Credit: Dmitry Ustinov