updated 6/19/2009 11:38:50 AM ET 2009-06-19T15:38:50

The wife of a Continental Airlines pilot who died on a trans-Atlantic flight from Belgium to the U.S. , says he was "in perfect health."

She also told a Houston television station that fellow crew members initially thought he had fallen asleep.

Lynda Lenell told KHOU-TV that her husband, 60-year-old Craig Lenell, had no known heart condition and underwent standard physicals twice a year.

She could not be reached for comment by The Associated Press. Houston-area phone numbers listed in the names of Craig and Lynda Lenell were not answered Friday morning.

Lenell died of a suspected heart attack midway through Thursday's flight. Two co-pilots landed the plane. The 247 passengers aboard did not learn what had happened until the flight from Brussels landed safely and was met by fire trucks, emergency vehicles and dozens of reporters.

Mid-flight announcement
After the crew of the Boeing 777 asked if there were any doctors aboard, several passengers approached the cockpit, including a doctor who said the pilot appeared to have suffered a heart attack.

Dr. Julien Struyven, 72, a cardiologist and radiologist from Brussels, examined the pilot in the cockpit and tried to revive him using a defibrillator. But it was too late.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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