Saturday 18 of June 2011 sets the second time someone has died in-flight on board an Air Niugini plane. The plane set for Kavieng and Manus returned to Port Moresby after one of the passengers died. However, the death would have gone unnoticed if it had not been for Manus Open MP, Hon. Job Pomat, who first noticed that something was wrong.
When he informed the crew, their initial response was that the passenger was sleeping. However, not convinced he asked a relative who happens to be a medical doctor to check the person and it turned out his suspicions were correct. According to unconfirmed reports, Pomat had noticed the passenger having difficulties breathing before falling asleep. This prompted his suspicions.
This was probably a panic response by the crew who, I believe, were not trained for such scenarios.
I assume in such a case, the plane should have landed on the closest port were the deceased should be taken to a hospital.
In the event that the person could have been revived had he received immediately medical attention, turning back for base could have meant an avoidable death.