Pilot down, passenger takes over with ‘no idea how to fly’ | World News

A passenger with no flying expertise radioed an pressing plea for assist when the pilot of a small airplane all of the sudden fell unwell off Florida’s Atlantic coast, and was ready to land the airplane safely with the assistance of air site visitors controllers.

“I’ve got a serious situation here,” the person mentioned Tuesday afternoon, in accordance to audio on LiveATC.web, a web site that broadcasts and archives air site visitors controller communications. “My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane.”

An air site visitors controller in Fort Pierce responded, asking if he knew the position of the single-engine Cessna 208.

“I have no idea. I can see the coast of Florida in front of me, and I have no idea,” the passenger mentioned.

According to Flight Aware, the airplane had taken off earlier Tuesday from Marsh Harbour International Airport within the Bahamas. The plane was occupied by the pilot and two passengers, in accordance to a Federal Aviation Administration information launch. Officials have not recognized any of them.

As the airplane flew over Florida, controller Christopher Flores, talking very calmly, advised the passenger to “preserve wings degree and take a look at to comply with the coast, both north or southbound.” Twin controls enable a Cessna 208 to be steered from the passenger seat.

Minutes passed before controllers were able to locate the plane, which by then was heading north over Boca Raton.

Then the man’s voice seemed to fade, so the controller in Fort Pierce asked for the passenger’s cellphone number to enable controllers at Palm Beach International Airport to communicate with him more clearly.

Air traffic controller Robert Morgan, a 20-year veteran, took over at that point, talking the passenger down to a safe landing. Morgan is a certified flight instructor with experience piloting Cessna aircraft, the FAA said.

“Kudos to the new pilot,” one controller told him after the plane smoothly wheeled down the tarmac.

Rescue workers assisted the original pilot, officials said. Neither passenger had any injuries. Officials did not immediately say what caused the pilot to fall ill.

Morgan said in a video released by the FAA that he was just doing his job, but at a higher level than he thought he would have to do it.

“We’ve never had anything like that,” Morgan mentioned. “I felt like I used to be in a film.”

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