It’s a headline ripped from the silver screen.
A passenger with no flight experience successfully landed a plane after the pilot suffered a medical emergency.
The passenger took over controls and with a lot of help from the radio tower, was able to land in Palm Beach International Airport.
The whole thing is as crazy as it sounds and really happened.
According to the FAA Medium post, the pilot told his two passengers he wasn’t feeling well before collapsing on the controls. This put the craft into a nosedive.
One of the passengers jumped into action. He took up the controls and pulled the craft out of a nosedive.
Then he did the smartest thing a passenger can do in that situation: he radioed for help.
Fort Pierce Tower at Treasure Coast International Airport answered the call. They instructed the passenger to stay near the coast as they tried to locate the craft.
Thanks to help from Palm Beach air traffic control, they found the plane 20 miles from Boca Raton Airport. At the Palm Beach Tower, Robert Morgan, a certified flight instructor, was called in from his break to assist the landing.
With his help, Morgan was able to successfully talk the passenger down into a landing.
Morgan made a few important calls that improved their success. While the passenger wanted to land at Boca Raton Airport, Morgan instructed him to take the craft to Palm Beach. This was important because Palm Beach International Airport had longer runways and was less congested, allowing for more room for the passenger to land.
Morgan said of the situation:
“We’ve never had anything like that... I felt like I was in a movie. Everybody wanted to participate and came out of the offices to assist in any kind of way.”
The praise for the passenger cannot be understated. Aviation expert, John Nance spoke about the unique situation.
“This is the first time I’ve ever heard of one of these [Cessna Caravans] being landed by somebody that has no aeronautical experience.”
Since everyone was safe, the jokes about the situation could fly.
The passenger has not been named by the FAA, nor have they said what the medical emergency was with the pilot. But the passenger did get to take a photo with his impromptu flight instructor, Morgan.