Passenger who has “no idea” lands plane after pilot falls ill

by Airlineratings Editors
May 11, 2022

An air traffic controller in the USA has successfully guided a passenger on a private plane to land safely at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida after the pilot was incoherent during the flight Tuesday.

According to , citing the FAA, the incident happened at about 12:30 p.m. with a single-engine plane, believed to be a Cessna Caravan.

There were just two people on board at the time of the landing and one -the pilot – was taken to a hospital, according to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue.

“I’ve got a serious situation here,” the passenger said to traffic control from the cockpit. “My pilot’s gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane…”

When asked where the plane was, the passenger responded, “I have no idea. I can see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.”

READ: Virgin Australia’s innovative business FF program

The Cessna Caravan was on a flight from Marsh Harbor in the Bahamas to Fort Pierce in Florida.

About one hour into the flight the pilot apparently fell ill and the passenger took over with the help of air traffic control and the plane was diverted to West Palm Beach.

Here is the flight path.

SEE the podcast: Flight Safety Detectives dissect the Netflix doco “Downfall”.

READ: Boeing will bounce back says world’s largest leasing company

READ: How the Airbus A350 went from defeat to victory

READ: Can the giant AN-225 fly again?

According to “the air traffic controller then continues to tell the passenger how to push forward on the controls, descend to 5,000 feet and level off as air traffic control tried to find the plane, according to audio of the incident.”

The air traffic controller said; “We’re gonna try to find you here on the radar.”

The controller finds the plane and then talks the passenger down to an almost perfect landing below.