A female passenger said: “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.”

A source told news agency TASS the pilot “died during the landing“.

“Unfortunately it was not possible to resuscitate the pilot, he died in the ambulance. We express our sincere condolences to his family and friends”, an Aeroflot spokesman told RBC news outlet.

The preliminary cause of death was a heart attack or thrombosis.

The aircraft took off again later to Anapa with another pilot.

An investigation has been launched.