August 8, 2022

‘My pilot has gone incoherent and I have no idea how to fly a plane’

A passenger with no flying experience has managed to land a private plane after the pilot became incapacitated onboard.

The incident took place on Tuesday, with audio captured of the passenger telling air traffic control that he has “no idea” how to fly a plane.

“I’ve got a serious situation here,” the unidentified passenger says in the LiveATC.net audio, according to CNN. “My pilot has gone incoherent, and I have no idea how to fly the airplane.”

“Roger. What’s your position?” air traffic control replied.

They then start giving the passenger advice on what to do, telling them: “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.

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

Eventually, the aircraft, which was carrying two people in addition to the pilot and was flying at 91,000ft, landed at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida.

Video obtained by WPBF and CNN shows the plane landing and emergency responders quickly arriving to help the incapacitated pilot. It is not yet clear what their condition is.

In more audio captured by LiveATC.net, another air traffic controller can be heard telling other planes what had just happened.

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The tower operator tells a pilot waiting to take off: “You just witnessed a couple of passengers land that plane.”

The pilot responds: “Did you say the passengers landed the airplane? Oh, my God. Great job.”

In a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot on board the single-engine Cessna 208 had a “possible medical issue.” They are investigating the incident.

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