A passenger with no flying experience landed a small plane in Florida after the pilot became “incoherent” following a medical emergency.
In live audio from a call made to air traffic control at Fort Pierce Tower, the unidentified passenger can be heard warning: “I’ve got a serious situation here.”
“My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane, but I maintaining at 9100,” the man said.
When asked by the tower for his position, he replied: “I have no idea. I can see the coast of Florida in front of me. And I have no idea.”
The dispatcher told the passenger to “maintain wings level” and “try to just follow the coast, either north or south” while they worked to locate the plane.
“Push forward on the controls and descend at a very low rate,” he added.
The passenger did not even know how to turn on the screens in the cockpit: “I can’t even get my nav screen to turn on,” he told the tower.
“It has all the information on it. You guys have any ideas on that?”
The controller – who was also a flight instructor – then walked the passenger through how to land the plane and the single-engine Cessna 208 touched down safely at the Palm Beach International Airport.
As it landed, other aircraft listened in to the broadcasts from the tower, unable to believe what had just happened.
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“Man, they did a great job,” someone can be heard saying in a separate call log.
“Did you say the passengers landed the plane?” another person asked.
“Oh my God. Great job.”
The first person can be heard saying that the passenger had “no flying experience” before landing the plane.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office officials said that one person had been taken to hospital in connection with the incident, according to WPTV. They did not release information on the individual’s condition or identity, the news station reported.
The FAA is investigating the incident.