[Update below.] Liberty Airport in Newark, N.J. was preparing for an emergency landing of a Continental Airlines flight from Europe after a pilot reportedly died, officials have said.
The flight, scheduled to land around 9 a.m. PDT, was coming from Belgium, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. A second pilot was on board the craft. A spokesman for the airline said by telephone that she could not discuss the situation.It was unknown what caused the pilot’s death.
According to the FAA, the weather was poor in New Jersey. Delays of up to two and a half hours were reported.
–Los Angeles Times
Update 12 p.m.: Flight 61 from Brussels, Belgium, landed a short while ago, at 11:49 a.m. It had been scheduled to land at noon, not at 9 a.m. as originally reported. The co-pilot flew the Boeing 777 and another Continental pilot who was aboard the plane was at the controls as well. Continental has said that the pilot appears to have died of natural causes.
“The company has been in touch with his family and we extend our deepest sympathies,” the airline’s statement said. “The deceased pilot was 61 years old, Newark-based and had 21 years of service with Continental.”
The Boeing 777 carried 247 passengers and landed safely at Newark.Newark was experiencing two-and-a-half-hour delays due to heavy rains, but the inbound plane got priority clearance.
Emergency medical units awaited the plane’s arrival.
It is still unclear what caused the pilot’s death.
-Elisha Ferber, Matzav.com Newscenter