A passenger with no flying experience managed to land a small plane at a West Palm Beach airport after the pilot suffered an in-flight medical emergency.
The single-engine Cessna 208 with two people on board landed safely at Palm Beach International Airport around 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, thanks to the help of an air traffic controller who guided the passenger to the plane’s pilot, an NBC affiliate WPTV TV reported.
Audio of a call to air traffic control at Fort Pierce Tower can be heard the passenger telling a dispatcher, “I have a serious situation here.”
“My pilot has become incoherent,” said the unidentified male passenger. “I have no idea how to fly the plane.”
“What is your position?” the dispatcher replied.
“I have no idea. I’m looking at the Florida coast and I have no idea,” the passenger said.
The dispatcher, who was also a flight instructor, gave the passenger instructions on how to operate the cockpit controls, telling him to “keep the wings level” and “push the controls forward and descend very slowly.”
After the plane lands, another air traffic controller can be heard telling other pilots what just happened.
“Did you say the passengers landed by plane?” asked an American Airlines pilot. “Oh my God. Great work.”
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office officials said one person was taken to the hospital, but their condition and identity were not released.
The FAA is investigating the incident.
https://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/national-international/passenger-with-no-experience-lands-plane-at-south-florida-airport/3235296/ Passenger plane lands at Palm Beach airport after pilot fell ill – NBC10 Philadelphia