A passenger on a private plane managed to land the plane at a Florida airport despite having no flying experience after the pilot became incapacitated.
The dramatic situation unfolded on Tuesday when the passenger was told via audio signal from air traffic control that he had “no idea” how to fly the plane.
“I have a serious situation here,” the unidentified passenger says on LiveATC.net audio, according to CNN. “My pilot has become incoherent and I have no idea how to fly the plane.”
“Roger. What is your position?” Air traffic control answered.
“Try to keep the wings straight and see if you can dismount for me. Push the controls forward and descend very slowly,” air traffic control added. “Try to follow the coast north or south. We’re trying to locate you.”
The plane, which was carrying two other people in addition to the pilot, flew at an altitude of 91,000 feet near South Florida and was directed by air traffic controllers in Fort Pierce to follow the coast and eventually land at Palm Beach International Airport.
After the passenger contacted air traffic control, the private plane was located on radar within four minutes.
While air traffic controllers located the plane, which WPBF-TV said was a Cessna Caravan, the pilot-turned-passenger asked air traffic control how to turn on the plane’s navigation screen.
“Have you found me yet?” he asked. “I can’t even turn on my navigation screen. It has all the information on it. Do you have any ideas about that?”
The plane was eventually flown to Palm Beach International Airport, where it landed without issue – much to the surprise of other planes and those on the ground.
“You just saw some passengers land on this plane,” the air traffic controller was heard telling an American Airlines pilot who was preparing to fly to Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Did you say that the passengers landed the plane?” asked the pilot. “Oh my god. Well done.”
Video obtained by WPBF and CNN showed the plane landing and rescue workers arriving to help the pilot. No further details were released about the people on board.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of one of them being landed by someone with no aviation experience,” aviation expert John Nance told Florida News on Tuesday.
“The person on the plane, who had no aviation experience, listened very carefully and obviously followed the instructions with great calm,” he said. “That made the difference.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement that the pilot had a “possible medical issue.” The agency is investigating the incident.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/north-america/watch-passenger-with-no-flying-experience-lands-plane-after-pilot-becomes-incapacitated-41640544.html Observe: Passenger with no flying experience lands on plane after pilot became incapacitated