Crew Asked for Doc But Kept Pilot's Death a Secret
Passengers had no clue
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jun 18, 2009 1:26 PM CDT
This video image shows Continental Airlines flight 61 from Belgium taxing at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark.   (AP Photo/Westwood One/Metro Networks)

(Newser) – They didn't explain why, but the crew of Continental Flight 61 asked passengers about halfway through their flight whether there was a doctor on board. It was only when the plane landed that passengers learned their 60-year-old captain had died somewhere between Brussels and New Jersey, the Star-Ledger reports. The pilot, an airline veteran of 32 years, died of natural causes, and co-pilots safely landed the plane in Newark.

"They asked for a doctor but that could be a lot of things, a broken arm, a pregnant person," said one of the 247 passengers. "A dead pilot wasn't what I expected."