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Tue, Nov 23, 2004

Indonesian Pilot Dies Moments After Unscheduled Landing

Copilot Landed Aircraft As Pilot Suffered Heart Attack

The pilot of a Garuda Indonesia Airlines Boeing 737 collapsed at the controls, minutes after take-off from Pontianak, on the island of Borneo, forcing his copilot to take the controls and make an unassisted landing back at the airport in Borneo, according to local news reports. None of the 107 passengers on board was hurt.

The pilot, whose name had not been released as of Monday evening, died at a local hospital a short time later.

Earlier reports had indicated the captain suffered a fatal heart attack as he was landing the 737. Those reports, however, were denied by a Supadio airport staffer named Situmorang (it is a common custom in Indonesia for people to identify themselves using a single name). The aircraft had been bound for Jakarta.

Crew members said the captain told them earlier in the day that he wasn't feeling well, according to Situmorang.



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