By Chris Dolmetsch and Mary Schlangenstein
June 18 (Bloomberg) -- A Continental Airlines Inc.
pilot died on a flight to Newark, New Jersey, from Brussels this morning, forcing two backup pilots to take control of the plane, authorities said.
The plane, carrying 247 passengers, landed at Newark Liberty International Airport at 11:49 a.m. local time, the airport said on its Web site.
The captain, whose name wasn’t immediately released, was 61 and died “apparently of natural causes,” Continental said in a statement.
Flight 61, a Boeing Co. 777, departed the Brussels airport at 9:45 a.m. Belgium time, according to Continental’s Web site.
The Port Authority notified the New Jersey Health Department of the death, said Steve Coleman
, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates Newark airport.
The pilot was based in Newark and had 21 years of service with the airline, Continental said.
“The company has been in touch with his family and we extend our deepest sympathies,” said the statement. Continental Pilot Dies on Flight to Newark Airport (Update2) - Bloomberg.com