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February 17, 2012

Czech Airlines Captain Dies During Flight

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A Czech Airlines passenger plane made an emergency landing in Prague on Wednesday after the captain collapsed and died during a flight from Poland, the airline said. The cause of death was not immediately known.

CSA Czech Airlines logo

Czech Airlines flight 777 was on a regular route from Warsaw to Prague when the captain suddenly collapsed. “[The aircraft] had to be assisted by an ambulance service because of indisposition of a member of cockpit crew,” said Hana Hejsková, a spokeswoman for Czech Airlines. “Rescue of the captain’s life unfortunately failed.”

The plane, an ATR-42 aircraft (OK-KFN), was carrying 46 passengers when it landed at Prague Ruzyně International Airport at approximately 12:02 p.m. local time. “Safety of the passengers wasn’t threatened. The flight was fully under control of the second pilot and landed smoothly without any problems,” the spokeswoman said.

Hejsková provided few details about the incident, but said the cause of death is still being investigated. “It is an untold tragedy, we all feel deep sorrow and express condolences to the captain’s relatives,” she said. “All Czech Airlines pilots are repeatedly trained also for this kind of non-standard situation. We are expressing big thanks to all crew from [the] OK 777 flight for [the] very professional and above-standard managing of this situation.”

Czech Airlines, the national airline of the Czech Republic, said it would not release the identity of the captain.

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