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Passenger with No Flying Experience Lands Plane at Palm Beach Airport After Pilot Becomes Unresponsive

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An passenger without flight experience managed to land the plane private in which he was traveling, after the pilot of the aircraft was rendered unconscious due to a medical emergency.

The man was on his way home to see his pregnant wife and was flying in a Cessna 208 that took off from Leonard M. Thompson International Airport in Marsh Harbor, Bahamas, bound for Florida on Tuesday, said a report from Daily Mail.

The individual, whose identity is unknown, managed to contact air traffic control when the pilot became incapacitated and said that I didn’t know how to fly the plane.

Passenger who made the landing, whose identity is unknown. Photo: Video capture of Local 10 News
“I have a serious situation here. My pilot has become incoherent and I have no idea how to fly the plane,” the man is heard saying in audio obtained by CNN from LiveATC.net.

With the help of the traffic controller, the passenger was able to continue the trajectory of the plane although at first he did not know where he was.

According to the note published by Daily Mailthe plane was located flying off the coast of Boca Raton, and air traffic control was able to guide the man on the landing.

“Try to keep the wings level and see if you can start to descend. Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow pace. Try to follow the coast north or south. We are trying to locate you”, the instructions of the controller are heard in the audio.

In statements to Daily MailAir traffic controller Robert Morgan said he was on a break when the emergency call came through. “I feel like it was probably meant to be,” he said.

“I knew the plane was flying like any other plane. I just had to keep it calm, direct it to the runway and tell it how to reduce power so it could descend to the ground,” added Morgan, who has vast experience as a flight instructor.

The controller said before he knew it, he heard the passenger say, ”I’m on the ground. How do I turn this off?”

Although the descent was a bit wobbly, the man managed to land the aircraft safely on the tarmac at Palm Beach International Airport.

In another audio clip posted by CNN Another controller is heard telling an American Airlines pilot waiting his turn to take off: “You just witnessed a couple of passengers land that plane.”

“Did you say that the passengers landed the plane?” asked the surprised pilot. “Oh my God. Great job,” he exclaimed.

Another JetBlue pilot, Justin Dalmolin, told ABC 25 that “the level of difficulty that this person had to deal with in terms of having zero flight time, to fly and land a single engine turbine aircraft, is absolutely incredible.”

“The amazing part is not just flying the plane, but obviously the most difficult part is setting up the plane for approach and landing,” Dalmolin said.

An FAA statement stated that two passengers were aboard the Cessna 208 when the pilot of the aircraft fainted, but so far the causes of the medical emergency and the current state of his health are unknown.