A passenger in a single-engine Cessna 208 headed from Florida to the Bahamas successfully landed the airplane, after telling air traffic controllers “I have no idea how to fly the airplane.”
On Tuesday, the pilot of the Cessna was “incoherent” according to the passengers. One passenger, who had at least seen other pilots fly, was able to safely land the airplane with with the help of air traffic controller and flight instructor Robert Morgan.
“I rush over there and I walk in and the room is really busy … and they’re like, ‘Hey, this pilot’s incapacitated. The passengers are flying the plane. They have no flying experience,” Morgan, who had also never flown that type of airplane, said. But Morgan does have 20 years as an air traffic controller and 1200 flight hours. Thank goodness he was around!
Morgan had to assist a man land an airplane, who had said to him “I don’t know how to fly. I don’t know how to stop this thing if I do get on the runway.” At least, according to Morgan, his newest student “was really calm.”
Morgan instructed: “Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me. Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate.”
“Try to follow the coast either north or southbound. We’re trying to locate you,” Morgan told him. The passenger turned flight student had told Morgan he didn’t even have any idea where they were.
After the two men successfully landed the airplane with no injuries, Morgan said: “I felt like I was going to cry then, because I had so much adrenaline built up. I was really happy that it worked out and that nobody got hurt.”
Wow! That is some people’s worst nightmare, on both ends of the emergency. It just shows what two determined people can accomplish if they are able to remain calm and focused on their objective. Do you think you could have landed that airplane?