A passenger with no flying experience landed a plane at a Florida airport after the pilot became incapacitated

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The pilot on his single-engine Cessna 208 had “gone incoherent,” the passenger was telling air traffic controllers Tuesday afternoon, according to audio from LiveATC.net.



It was, he stressed, a “serious situation.”

Air Traffic Controller Robert Morgan, a certified flight instructor, was on a break when the call came in from the plane, headed out from the Bahamas.

“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 told CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday.

“I said, ‘Oh boy.'”



Morgan learned the passenger on the line had never flown a plane — but had been around aviation and seen other pilots fly.

“He was really calm,” Morgan said. “He said, ‘I don’t know how to fly. I don’t know how to stop this thing if I do get on the runway.'”



Morgan had never flown this model Cessna. He pulled up a picture of the instrument panel’s layout and started guiding his new student step-by-step.


“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,” the air traffic controller can be heard telling the fledgling pilot in LiveATC audio.



“Try to follow the coast either north or southbound. We’re trying to locate you.”

Morgan made the key decision to guide the aircraft to the area’s biggest airport, helping the passenger-turned-pilot position his aircraft 8 miles out from Palm Beach International, “just so he could just have a really big target to aim at.”





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