Biman Bangladesh Pilot Dies After Inflight Medical Emergency

A Biman Bangladesh Airlines pilot has sadly passed away following a medical emergency on a flight from Muscat to Dhaka. The incident prompted the flight to divert to Nagpur in India, where the pilot died in hospital from a brain hemorrhage.

Biman Bangladesh Boeing 737
The medical emergency understandably caused significant delays. Photo: Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon via Wikimedia Commons

The flight in question

Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight BG22 is a scheduled service from Muscat International Airport (MCT) in Oman to Biman’s hub at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (DAC). The flight typically operates five times a week.

The flight’s scheduled departure time from Muscat is 02:30 local time. It is then timed to touch down in Dhaka four and a quarter hours later at 08:45 local time. Since the start of the month, Biman has been deploying widebodies like the Boeing 777 and 787 on the route.

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In August, flight BG22 was being operated by a Boeing 737-800. Data from shows that Biman has six of these narrowbodies in its fleet, of which five are active.

On August 27th, the flight departed Muscat four hours late, at 06:27 local time. However, it ran into tragic circumstances en route when its Captain suffered a medical emergency.

Biman Diversion 1
40 minutes after the Captain lost consciousness, the flight landed in Nagpur. Image:

An urgent diversion

According to The Aviation Herald, flight BG22 was forced to divert when 44-year-old Captain Nawshad Ataul Quaiyum became incapacitated. The incident, which was initially believed to have been a heart attack, caused him to lose consciousness. Cruising at 37,000 feet, the First Officer took control of the aircraft and diverted to Nagpur (NAG), India.

Resuscitation attempts were made during the diversion, which eventually saw the aircraft touch down safely on Nagpur’s runway 32 after 40 minutes. Upon landing in Nagpur, the Captain was taken to hospital. Sadly, despite treatment in an intensive care unit, he was unable to regain consciousness. He died a few hours after the diverted landing in Nagpur.

The hospital confirmed that his cause of death had in fact been a brain hemorrhage, rather than a heart attack as initially believed. A replacement crew had to fly out to Nagpur to fly flight BG22’s 124 passengers home, and they were on the ground in India for 11 hours. They eventually reached Dhaka at 00:45 local time, 16 hours late.

Biman Diversion 2
The flight eventually reached Dhaka 16 hours late. Image:

Paying their respects

Earlier this week, Captain Nawshad Ataul Quaiyum’s body was flown from Nagpur to Dhaka on another Biman service. The airline explained in a statement that it did so on flight BG28, which landed in the Bangladeshi capital at 09:12 local time on September 2nd.

The Captain’s coffin was carried from the aircraft by a selection of his fellow Biman pilots, who saluted the flower-covered vessel before it left the airport. According to The Daily Star, the Captain’s sisters were on the flight that carried his body back to Dhaka. His burial took place on Thursday, which “staff from all walks of life attended.” Biman told the Daily Star:

State Minister for Civil Aviation M Mahbub Ali, top officials of the ministry, Biman and the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, and leaders of Bangladesh Airlines’ Pilot Association, among others, were present at the airport to show their last respect to the well-reputed pilot of the national airline.”

In memory of Captain Nawshad Ataul Quaiyum.