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Airline Captain Dies in Mid-Flight

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Continental Flight 61 lands safely at Newark airport after captain dies

by The Star Ledger Continuous News Desk Thursday


NEWARK -- Continental Airlines Flight 61 landed safely at Newark Liberty International Airport at around noon after the captain died mid-flight of natural causes and two co-pilots had to assume the controls.

The Newark-based 61-year-old captain had 21 years of service with Continental, according to airline spokeswoman Julie King.

Flight 61 with 247 passengers was given priority clearance for landing at Newark Liberty International Airport after the co-pilots report the in-flight death of the captain, said Arlene Salac, an FAA spokeswoman.

The name of the captain has not been released.

"The company has been in touch with his family and we extend our deepest sympathies," King said in a statement issued by Continental.

As the plane landed, emergency vehicles followed behind the aircraft. The Boeing 777 was expected to taxi to Terminal C.

In January 2007, the captain of a Continental flight from Houston died during a flight bound for Mexico and the co-pilot safely landed the plane after being diverted to McAllen-Miller International Airport

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