NEWARK ‚ÄĒ From the passenger cabin, nothing seemed amiss.
Food and drink service continued normally. The crew had requested help from any doctors on board, but nothing seemed to come of it, passengers said. The eight-hour flight from Brussels landed routinely here about noon Thursday.
Unbeknownst to the 247 passengers on Continental Flight 61, the captain, a 60-year-old veteran of the airline, had died over the Atlantic of a suspected heart attack. The co-pilot and a reserve pilot, who was in the cockpit to allow the regular pilots to rest, took over and finished the flight.
On Friday the captain was identified by his wife, Lynda Lenell, who said her husband, Craig Lenell, had no known heart condition and underwent twice-a-year physicals. Lynda Lenell told Houston's KHOU-TV that her husband was in "perfect health" and fellow crew members initially thought he had just fallen asleep....