Passenger With No Flying Experience Lands Plane After Pilot Falls Ill
Imagine being on board an airplane when the pilot suddenly becomes ill and incoherent. Yeah, we don’t want to imagine that either. It sounds like the story wouldn’t end well. Thankfully, in this case, the story ended very well.
Two passengers and a pilot were on board a Cessna airplane. The plane departed from Marsh Harbour International Airport in the Bahamas and was heading towards Florida. The problem is that somewhere over the ocean, the pilot became ill, and the passengers knew that he would not be able to fly or land the plane.
One of the passengers made an emergency phone call to air traffic controllers. According to recorded audio of the call, the passenger said, “I’ve got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane.” The passenger didn’t know exactly where he was in the air, but he could see the coastline of Florida in front of him.
Air traffic controller Christopher Flores instructed the passenger to “maintain wings level and try to follow the coast, either north or southbound.” Meanwhile, the air traffic controllers tried to locate the plane. When they were able to locate it, moments later, the plane was over Boca Raton and heading north.
At this point, air traffic controller Robert Morgan took over. The other air traffic controllers thought he was the best man for the job since he was also a certified flight instructor.
Morgan was able to instruct the passenger how to fly the plane and land it safely at Palm Beach International Airport. Miraculously, it worked. The passenger landed the plane without having any previous flight experience thanks to the assistance of Morgan. Neither passenger was injured, and the pilot was assisted by rescue workers.
Watch the video below to hear Morgan explain what this experience was like and to hear in more detail how he was able to help the passenger successfully land the airplane.
Morgan explained, “I felt like I was in a movie.”
Do you think you would be able to land an airplane with the help of an air traffic controller? Do you think the passenger who landed the airplane should be given a pilot’s license?