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Passenger with no flying experience lands plane after pilot incapacitated

By Maya Yang
After the Cessna’s landing an American Airlines pilot asked air traffic control: ‘Did you say the passengers landed the plane? Oh my God. Great job.’
After the Cessna’s landing an American Airlines pilot asked air traffic control: ‘Did you say the passengers landed the plane? Oh my God. Great job.’ Photograph: Reliable Robotics/Reuters

A passenger without any flying experience safely landed a plane at a Florida airport after the pilot became incapacitated.

The Federal Aviation Administration was investigating the incident, which happened on Tuesday afternoon. It was believed the pilot may have suffered a medical emergency.

In a statement, the FAA said two passengers were onboard the single-engine Cessna 208 when the pilot had a “possible medical issue”.

One passenger steered the private plane smoothly into Palm Beach international airport.

According to LiveATC.net audio, the passenger told air traffic control: “I’ve got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent and I have no idea how to fly the airplane.”

Asked what the situation was with the pilot, the passenger said: “He is incoherent. He is out.”

The air traffic controller asked the passenger what his position was.

He replied: “I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.”

“Try to follow the coast either north or southbound,” the controller said. “We’re trying to locate you.”

After four minutes, the passenger asked: “Have you guys located me? I can’t even get my nav screen to turn on. It has all the information on it. You guys have any ideas on that?”

Air traffic control located the plane, which was off Boca Raton.

The air traffic controller proceeded to guide the passenger through the descent, saying: “Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me, push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate.”

In video obtained by CNN, the plane can be seen landing slowly and smoothly.

In a separate recording, another air traffic controller can be heard telling pilots: “You just witnessed a couple of passengers land that plane.”

“Did you say the passengers landed the plane?” an American Airlines pilot asked. “Oh my God. Great job.”

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Dive Deeper:
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 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 lands plane in Florida after pilot incapacitated
Miami (AFP) - A passenger without flying experience landed a small plane at a Florida airport after the pilot was…
Passenger with 'no flying experience' safely lands plane after pilot's medical emergency
Air traffic controllers were able to guide the Cessna Caravan passenger around 70 miles along the Florida coast before he…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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,…
Passenger with 'no idea' how to fly a plane lands aircraft after pilot falls ill
It is believed to be the first time the feat has been successfully accomplished
Get all your news in one place