Today in movie-scenarios-that-happened-in-real-life, a passenger on a single-engine Cessna 208 was forced to land the plane after its pilot became incapacitated.
The harrowing event was retold by Air Traffic Controller and certified flight instructor Robert Morgan, who talked to CNN about how he received a call from a plane flying over the Bahamas whose pilot was unconscious, and was told that the people on board had no idea how to operate it.
“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,” Morgan explained. “They have no flying experience.”
The person manning the plane said that they didn’t know how to fly it, but that they’d been around pilots before. “I’ve got a serious situation here,” the passenger reportedly told air traffic control. “My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane.”
From there, Morgan looked at the layout of the plane model they were in and walked the inexperienced passenger through how to land it themselves.
“Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me,” Morgan can be heard saying through LiveATC audio. “Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate.”
Morgan guided the passenger to land the plane at Palm Beach International Airport, the closest airport and the one that had the largest landing area. Working together, the two were able to land the aircraft without injuring anyone in the process.
“I felt like I was going to cry then, because I had so much adrenaline built up,” Morgan said. “I was really happy that it worked out and that nobody got hurt.”
It’s been reported that the original pilot might have had a “possible medical issue,” and his current condition is currently unknown.
“It was an emotional moment. He said that he just wanted to get home to his pregnant wife,” Morgan said after the ordeal. “And that felt even better.”