Dannie Minnie, 43, was waiting to land at Johannesburg's OR Tambo airport, where he was due to pick up a businessman, on Sunday when he suffered a massive aneurysm which paralysed him on his left side.
The experienced professional pilot started to vomit and become disoriented but managed to turn his Cessna Citation Mustang around and fly 230 miles back to his departure point, the city of Bloemfontein in the Free State.
There, as paramedics and fire engines waited, he landed the plane and kissed his wife before being taken to hospital.
Despite the efforts of doctors, he lost consciousness, was declared brain-dead within 24 hours and died on Wednesday.
In a statement, South Africa's Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company said Mr Minnie had declined emergency assistance as he flew back to Bloemfontein.
"The pilot requested to be diverted back to Bloemfontein as he was 'not feeling well'.
"In accordance with normal procedures, a pilot in distress receives preferential treatment in an emergency landing. However, the pilot declined.
"Despite this, the Air Traffic Controller still routed the flight via the shortest possible route for immediate landing.
"Our understanding is that, given the circumstances and the facts surrounding the said incident, the Cival Aviation Authority will be investigating."
Aviation experts said that his ability to remain in control despite the catastrophic injury had undoubtedly saved many lives on the ground.
Ernest Claasson, director of Aviation Safety Training Africa, said it was "a phenomenal feat of airmanship".
"I have spoken to doctors who said that when drivers suffer aneurysms they usually lose control of their vehicles within seconds," he said.
"I believe very few people would have been able to do the same under the circumstances and the results could have been dreadful if the plane had come down.
"In my view that absolutely makes him a hero."
Orignal From: Pilot who suffered brain haemorrhage managed to land plane