Deaths in cockpit are rare -- but they do happen
THE chance of a pilot dying at the controls while airborne is a rare enough event -- but it does happen often enough for it to be of concern.
Last year a Continental Airlines pilot died on a flight from New York to Brussels, but the flight landed safely with two co-pilots at the controls.
About eight airline pilots have died while airborne in 15 years of US Federal Aviation Administration data. No figures are available for Europe.
As well as flying the plane and deputising for the captain, co-pilots are also used in trouble-shooting onboard problems and in emergencies.
Under Mr O'Leary's plan, a member of the air crew, most likely one of the staff serving drinks and food, would take over the plane's controls.