A passenger on a private jet successfully landed the plane at a Florida airport, despite having no flying experience, after the pilot became incapacitated on board.
The dire situation unfolded on Tuesday when the passenger was caught on audio telling air traffic control he had “no idea” how to fly the plane.
“I have a serious situation here,” the unidentified passenger says in the LiveATC.net audio, according to CNN. “My pilot has become inconsistent and I don’t know how to fly the plane.”
“Roger. What’s your position?” air traffic control replied.
“Try to keep the wings level and see if you can start descending for me. Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate,” air traffic control added. “Try to follow the coast, either north or south We are trying to locate you.
The plane, which was carrying two people in addition to the pilot, was flying at an altitude of 91.00 feet near South Florida and was being guided by Fort Pierce air traffic controllers to follow the coast to finally land at the international airport. from Palm Beach.
After the passenger contacted air traffic control, the private plane was located on radar within four minutes.
As air traffic controllers located the plane, which WPBF-TV said was a Cessna Caravan, the pilot-turned-passenger asked air traffic control how to turn on the plane’s navigation screen.
“Have you located me yet?” ” He asked. “I can’t even turn on my navigation screen. He has all the information on it. Do you have any ideas on this? »
The plane eventually landed at Palm Beach International Airport where it landed without issue – much to the surprise of the other planes and those on the ground.
“You just saw a few passengers land on this plane,” the air traffic controller could be heard saying to an American Airlines pilot preparing to fly to Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Did you say the passengers landed on the plane?” asked the pilot. “Oh my God. Good job.”
Video obtained by WPBF and CNN showed the plane landing and emergency responders arriving to assist the pilot. No other details have been released of those on board.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of one of these aircraft landing by someone who has no experience in aviation,” aviation expert John Nance told the station on Tuesday. Florida information.
“The person on the plane who had no aviation experience listened very carefully and obviously followed the instructions very calmly,” he said. “That’s what made the difference.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement that the pilot suffered from a “possible medical condition”. The agency is investigating the incident.