Pilot of Continental Airlines plane dies during flight

By Calvin Palmer

The captain of a Continental Airlines Boeing 777  has died during a flight from Brussels to Newark.

The captain was piloting Flight 61, which is expected to land at Newark Liberty Airport at noon. There are 247 passengers aboard the aircraft.

The FAA stated they heard reports about the captain’s death but could not confirm the report.

FAA spokesperson Arlene Salac said that the two first officers on board the aircraft are both qualified to fly the Boeing 777.

Salac said an emergency has been declared and the flight will be given priority handling upon arrival at Newark.

Continental Airlines has confirmed the pilot’s death and stated that he died of natural causes.

His name has not been released, but he had worked with Continental for 21 years and was based in Newark.

The aircraft left Brussels at 9:45 a.m. local time.

The story by newsday.com originally referred to Brussels, Germany. I honestly wonder what caliber of people are manning news organizations in the United States these days. Fortunately one of the grown ups spotted the error and it now correctly reads “Brussels, Belgium”.

[Based on reports by newsday.com and CBS News.]

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