Pilot dies mid-flight, but the plane lands safely anyway

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Continental Flight 61 landed safely with the help of a "relief pilot" after its pilot died of natural causes today while flying from Brussels, Belgium, to Newark, New Jersey, reports CNN.com.

"There have been previous instances of pilots dying during flights," says the New York Times' City Room blog. Most notably:

In January 2007, a pilot of a Continental 757 bound from Houston to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, died after takeoff, with 210 passengers were on board. The flight landed safely after being diverted to McAllen-Miller International Airport in Texas.

Passengers weren't informed until they left the plane.

Should passengers have been informed midflight?

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