Continental pilot dies midflight

No, I’m not crazy enough to actually be reporting this, because I can’t escape it. It’s all over the web, all over TV, etc. First and foremost, my condolences to the family of the pilot. How sad.

What really pisses me off, as usual, is how the media reports this. Just in the past few minutes I’ve heard “imagine your pilot dying over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.” Also, I love how they’re reporting the thick fog at Newark and how the plane still landed safely.

I am so tempted to throw something at my TV/computer. Hey jackasses on the news there were THREE pilots on this plane, a captain and two first officers. The two first officers are perfectly capable of flying the plane, and heck, they do so all the time when the captain is resting. As far as safety is concerned, this is a complete non-event, yet based on the news you’d think this was one of those freak show airplane movies where the flight deck is poisoned and blow up dolls are flying the plane. 😉

Filed Under: Continental, Media
  1. Totally agree, can you believe how many people and news outlets have used the term “emergency landing” as though they foamed the EWR runway or were dealing with a landing gear indicator light malfunction? Tragic, of course, but ridiculous.

  2. The only thing that I felt was newsworthy from this is that CO deploys a 777 to go EWR-BRU while DL/AA are flying a 757.

  3. So here’s my question…. apparently they called for a doctor onboard. Had their been one, would said doctor have been permitted to enter the cockpit?!

    After all, nobody would have time nor the ability to check his credentials onboard.

    I’d like to think common sense would prevail… but US carriers… 9/11… humm…

  4. Regarding emergency landing… why DID Newark roll out the fire trucks and ambulances? To get them guys some exercise?

  5. @ theflyingpinto — Thanks! Nice to have approval from the other side. 😀

    @ Elliot — Spot on.

    @ Chris — Yeah, I was surprised as well when I heard that. Seems like a big plane for BRU.

    @ Gray — Great minds think alike. 😉

    @ Lewis — My understanding was that the doctors were in the cockpit to check on the captain. Shockingly enough logic trumped technicalities for once!

    @ Oliver — Well, it’s not like they have anything else to do, heh. My understanding is that whenever an emergency is declared (regardless of the type), they have a full setup.

  6. @Lucky — so was an emergency declared? What was the emergency? (maybe I am not understanding the word emergency… the pilot was dead due to natural causes and the cockpit was fully manned with qualified pilots).

  7. First, of course, my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased pilot.

    But if I had been the First Officer on that flight, I might have been pretty insulted — and ticked off — that they had emergency equipment on hand for my landing. Captains and FO’s routinely alternate who flies (and lands) the plane; 50% of the time, your plane is landed by the FO in any case… and no “emergency equipment” is required.

    If a Part 121 carrier like Continental employed first officers who were NOT completely capable of making a routine landing…. now THAT would be the emergency. (But that is not the case.)

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