“I’ve got a serious situation here,” a plane passenger told Florida air traffic control after the pilot of his flight became incapacitated in the cockpit on Tuesday.
The unnamed passenger with no flying experience told air traffic control the pilot had “gone incoherent,” adding he had “no idea how to fly the airplane,” CNN originally reported.
The passenger was one of two people aboard the single-engine Cessna 208 airplane.
Miraculously, with the help of an air traffic controller (who is also a flight instructor), the passenger was able to successfully land the plane at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida.
In the audio obtained from air traffic control, the controller asks the passenger what the position of the plane is.
“I have no idea,” the passenger answered calmly. “I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.”
The air traffic controller then asks about the situation with the pilot, and the passenger confirms, “He’s incoherent. He’s out.”
Robert Morgan was the controller who guided the plane to a safe landing, WPBF, an ABC-affiliated local news network, reported.
Though he had never flown a Cessna 208 airplane before, Morgan used a photo of plane’s cockpit to guide the passenger to a safe landing.
“I knew the plane flies like any other plane. I just had to keep him calm, point him to the runway and just tell him how to reduce the power so they can descend to land,” Morgan told WPBF.
He instructed the passenger to hold the wings of the plane level and begin descending.
“Before I knew it, was like, ‘I’m on the ground, how do I turn this thing off?'” Morgan said.
Other air traffic controllers boasted about the successful landing to other nearby pilots.
“You just witnessed a couple of passengers land that plane,” air traffic told another commercial plane waiting to take off.
“Did you say the passengers landed the airplane?” the other pilot asked. “Oh my God. Great job.”
When Morgan and the passenger met on the tarmac, the passenger told Morgan he was going to go home to see his pregnant wife.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently investigating the situation. Though the condition of the incoherent pilot is not known, the FAA said they had a “possible medical issue.”
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