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Passenger lands plane in Florida after pilot incapacitated

A passenger without flying experience landed a Cessna 208, like the model seen in this 2016 picture, at a Florida airport after the pilot suffered a medical emergency. ©AFP

Miami (AFP) - A passenger without flying experience landed a small plane at a Florida airport after the pilot was rendered "incoherent" by a medical emergency, US media reported Wednesday.

The unwitting pilot, the only passenger on the single-engine Cessna 208, relied on air traffic control to guide his landing at Palm Beach International Airport, some 68 miles (110 kilometers) north of Miami, NBC reported.

Officials at Fort Pierce, north of Palm Beach, received an emergency call around noon on Tuesday from the passenger, saying, "I've got a serious situation here," NBC reported. 

"My pilot has gone incoherent.I have no idea how to fly the airplane."

Asked for his position he said, "I have no idea" but that he could see the Florida coastline.

"Maintain wings level and just try to follow the coast, either north or southbound," the air traffic official told him."We're trying to locate you."

Air traffic controller Robert Morgan said his experience as a flight instructor helped him guide the passenger, whose name has not been released, as he landed the plane.

"He was very calm, he just said, 'hey, I just don't know how to fly, you know, I don't know how to stop this thing if I do get it on the runway," Morgan told CNN.

"I felt like I was gonna cry because I had so much adrenaline built up" after the incident, Morgan added, saying the passenger gave him a hug and thanked him for helping him get safely back to his pregnant wife.

The condition of the pilot or the nature of the medical emergency was not immediately released, but Palm Beach Fire Rescue said a patient was transported to a hospital after the plane touched down.

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Dive Deeper:
Passenger with no flying experience lands plane at Florida airport after pilot becomes incapacitated
‘This is the first time I’ve ever heard of one of these being landed by somebody that has no aeronautical…
Passenger with no flying experience lands plane after pilot incapacitated
Air traffic controller guided descent to Boca Raton airport in Florida after passenger radioed: ‘I’ve got a serious situation here’
Watch: Passenger with no flying experience lands plane after pilot becomes incapacitated
A passenger on a private plane managed to land the aircraft at a Florida airport, despite having no flying experience,…
Passenger safely lands plane in Florida after pilot falls ill
MIAMI — A plane landed safely at Palm Beach International Airport on Tuesday afternoon after “a possible pilot medical issue…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Passenger with no flight experience successfully lands plane after pilot taken ill
A plane passenger with no flight experience safely landed the aircraft after the pilot lost consciousness.
Passenger with ‘no idea how to fly this’ lands plane after pilot blacks out
Just after noon on Tuesday, a passenger flying in a single- engine Cessna about 32km east of Boca Raton, Florida,…
Get all your news in one place