When the pilot of a plane suddenly became ill near Florida’s Atlantic coast, a passenger with no flying experience radioed an urgent request for aid, and air traffic controllers helped him safely land the plane.
According to recordings on media that broadcasts and archives air traffic controller exchanges, the guy stated Tuesday afternoon, “I’ve got a severe dilemma here.” “My pilot has become ill.” I’m not sure how to fly an airplane.”
A Fort Pierce air traffic controller answered, asking whether he knew where the single-engine Cessna 208 was.
“I’m not sure.” “I can see the Florida shore front of me and have no idea,” the passenger explained.
The jet took off from Marsh Harbour International Airport in the Bahamas earlier Tuesday, according to Flight Aware. According to a news statement from the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was carrying the pilot and two passengers. None of them have been identified by authorities.
“Maintain wings level and attempt to follow the shore, either north or southward,” controller Christopher Flores advised the passenger as the jet sailed over Florida.” A Cessna 208 may be piloted from the passenger seat using twin controls.
It took several minutes for controllers to find the jet, which was traveling north over Boca Raton at the time.
The man’s voice then seemed to waver, so the Fort Pierce controller requested the passenger’s cellphone number so that Palm Beach International Airport controllers could connect with him more clearly.
At that time, air traffic controller Robert Morgan, a 20-year veteran, took over and guided the passenger to a safe landing. Morgan is a licensed flight instructor with Cessna aircraft expertise, according to the FAA.
After the plane gently turned down the tarmac, one controller informed him, “Kudos to the new pilot.”
Officials reported that rescue crews aided the initial pilot. Neither of the passengers was hurt. The cause of the pilot’s illness was not immediately known.
Morgan said in a video published by the FAA that he was simply performing his job, but at a greater level than he expected.
“We’ve never had anything like it before,” she says “Morgan explained. “It was as though I were in a movie.”