A private plane passenger managed to land the aircraft at a Florida airport, despite having no flying experience, after the pilot was incapacitated on board.
The dramatic situation occurred on Tuesday when the passenger was caught on audio telling air traffic control that he “has no idea” how to fly the plane.
“I have a serious situation here,” the unidentified passenger says in the LiveATC.net audio, according to CNN. “My pilot has become incoherent and I have no idea how to fly the plane.”
“It is understood. What is your position? air traffic control responded.
“Try to keep the wings level and see if you can start going down for me. Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow pace,” added air traffic control. “Try to follow the coast, either north or south. We are trying to locate you.
The plane, which was carrying two people in addition to the pilot, was flying at an altitude of 91.00 feet near South Florida and was guided by air traffic controllers in Fort Pierce to follow the coast and finally land at Palm International Airport. Beach.
After the passenger contacted air traffic control, the private plane was placed on radar within four minutes.
As air traffic controllers located the plane, which WPBF-TV said was a Cessna Caravan, the passenger-turned-pilot asked air traffic control how to turn on the plane’s navigation screen.
“Have they located me yet?” she asked her. “I can’t even get my navigation screen to turn on. It has all the information about it. Do you have any idea about that?”
The plane eventually flew to Palm Beach International Airport, where it landed safely, much to the surprise of other planes and those on the ground.
“You just saw a couple of passengers land that plane,” the air traffic controller could be heard telling an American Airlines pilot preparing to fly to Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Did you say that the passengers landed the plane?” the pilot asked. “Oh my god. Great job.”
Video obtained by WPBF and CNN showed the plane landing and emergency services arriving to help the pilot. No further details about the people on board were released.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of someone who has no aeronautical experience landing one of these,” aviation expert John Nance told the Florida news station on Tuesday.
“The person on the plane who had no aviation experience listened very carefully and obviously followed instructions very calmly,” he said. “That’s what made the difference.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement that the pilot suffered a “possible medical problem.” The agency is investigating the incident.