Most of us are scared of flying no matter how convenient it is. But have you ever wondered what happens on a flight when someone dies in there? Sure, that is the worst-case scenario but it could happen.
So, what happens when someone actually dies on a flight? Contrary to what one might expect, the pilot is not required to make an emergency landing. In fact, besides the requirement to report the incident properly, there are no proper and stringent rules for what a pilot and crew should do in such cases.
What happens when a person dies on a flight?
Every flight has a piece of emergency equipment, such as a defibrillator, and flight attendants undergo first aid training qualifying them to complete CPR. However, when that all fails to prevent death, the focus shifts to trying to maintain a sense of normality, even if that means leaving the corpse in its seat.
A TikTok user named Sheena Marie 25 has worked as a flight attendant for two years and explained what happens when someone dies on a plane. Even though a medical emergency is not super likely for the average traveller, for crew members who do as many as ten routes a week, it is a far more realistic possibility.
“If they have a heart attack and die, and there is nothing we can do about it, and we can’t start CPR, we are just going to wait until we get to our final destination,” she said.
She even mentioned how the urban myth of bodies being put in lavatories is untrue. This doesn’t happen because the body can’t be safely strapped in there.
Guideline when a passenger is unconscious
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), an industry group representing aviation companies, has issued the following guidelines for when a passenger becomes unconscious. It recommends that the flight crew attempt CPR on the passenger for at least 30 minutes unless prevented from doing so by turbulence or other obstacles.
According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, one in every 600 flights experiences a medical issue while flying high in the sky. While this is typically fainting, respiratory problems, heart trouble, nausea or vomiting, in 0.3% of cases, an in-flight emergency will result in death.