Commercial aircrafts are usually piloted by two men and it is so for a good reason.
On Wednesday, captain Mr Jaroslav Váňa (58), a great and beloved pilot and a lover of his old Škoda 120 car, almost completed his routine flight from Warsaw to Prague flawlessly. However, when he began to land, he made a mistake that a pilot shouldn't do more than once in his life (except if he is Hindu): he died.
What I find impressive – and it is not the first time – is the discipline and cold attitude that the other pilot obeys.
You could say that his behavior is machine-like, nearly inhuman and lacking compassion. Nevertheless, it's still necessary. Pilots are trained for various – often extreme – situations and some of them, in some cases, are guaranteed by the laws of statistics to need to stick to the appropriate procedures.
Also, it seems to me that both sides of the English conversation between the aircraft and the airport which I embedded above are Czech. For some reasons, I would still find it safer if non-native English speakers could speak their mother tongue whenever possible.
The late pilot was very popular, witty, and talkative. He would always ask "What do I never fly without?" The answer was coffee. Also, he had a visual scheme of 10 objects associated with each decimal digit. He was periodically testing the stewardesses whether they have remembered the scheme.
If I return to the question in the title: What happens when the captain dies during the flight? The answer that is both cruel and liberating is that pretty much nothing else happens.
RIP Mr Váňa.