A passenger with no flying experience has safely landed a small plane in Florida after a pilot’s health problem. The man landed the single-engine Cessna 208 at Palm Beach International Airport on Tuesday, US media reported on Wednesday. He had previously contacted air traffic control by radio and described his dramatic situation in a calm voice.
“I have a serious situation here,” the passenger said, according to a recording released by US broadcasters. “My pilot has become incoherent. I have no idea how to fly an airplane.”
When asked by the air traffic controller where exactly the machine was located, the passenger had no answer: “I can see the Florida coast in front of me and I have no idea.” The air traffic controller then gave the man instructions. He should first “keep the wings horizontal” and fly along the coast.
The passenger, who involuntarily became a pilot, finally landed the machine at Palm Beach Airport with help over the radio. “The plane landed safely and a patient was taken to a local hospital,” the Palm Beach Fire Department said.
“He was really calm,” said air traffic controller Robert Morgan, who helped the passenger over the radio, to CNN. The man landed perfectly. “I almost cried because I had so much adrenaline,” Morgan said. “I was really happy that it worked out and nobody got hurt.” (AFP)