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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pilot dies, but jet lands safely

This can be a bad situation, given that the pilots on modern planes have a huge amount of training before they are ready to fly modern planes. The dependence on pilots being fully aware when they are flying is pretty high, which is why if a pilot is caught drinking before a flight, it is taken very seriously. So, if a pilot is incapacitated during a flight or dies, it could become a problem. There is a co-pilot, but it is still risky. So it was a wonder that things went very smoothly on this Continental flight when the pilot died of natural causes during the flight (link to article):

The pilot of Continental Flight 61 died Thursday as the plane flew from Brussels, Belgium, to Newark, New Jersey, the Federal Aviation Administration and Continental Airlines said. The 60-year-old Newark-based pilot died of "apparently of natural causes" about halfway through the flight, the airline said. He had 32 years of service with Continental, it said. Passengers told CNN that they were not informed, and that the only indication of a problem was that an announcement for a doctor was made during the flight.
The airline said the crew on the flight included an additional relief pilot who took the place of the deceased man, and "the flight continued safely with two pilots at the controls." The Boeing 777 landed safely at Newark International Airport at 11:49 a.m. ET Thursday, the airline said.

Good that things went well, and the passengers were not notified during the flight so there were no panic situations.

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