US passenger plane lands safely after pilot dies

June 19th, 2009 - 12:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 19 (DPA) A Continental airlines pilot died at the controls of a plane en route from Brussels to Newark, New Jersey.
The two first officers onboard, who have extensive experience flying the Boeing 777, landed the plane Thursday with 247 passengers on board in Newark, according to broadcast images.

The plane was met by emergency vehicles in response to what CNN said was a “declared emergency”.

CNN quoted a statement from Continental that the 61-year-old captain of the flight died of natural causes while piloting the plane.

Until 2007, US aviation rules forced pilots to retire at age 60. Under legislation adopted that year, pilots over age 60 may be in command of international flights as long as they are paired with a copilot who is younger than 60.

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