Spotted on The Mirror:
Humberside Airport: Passenger with NO flying experience lands plane after pilot falls ill and passes out
A brave passenger, John Wildey was forced to land a plane himself last night after his friend – the pilot fell ill and passed out.
The light aircraft, thought to be a Cessna, took off at 6.30pm, but moments later the pilot declared an emergency before falling unconscious, with one man on board.
Shaken up, the passenger seized the controls and, after several passes over Humberside Airport, landed an hour later while air traffic control talked him down by radio from the tower.
Roy Murray, one of two flight instructors who guided him through the landing, said the man had no flying experience and did a “remarkable job”. Mr Murray, who works at a flying school at the airport, said: “He made quite a good landing actually.
“He didn’t know the layout of the aeroplane, he didn’t have lights on, so he was absolutely flying blind as well. I think he’d flown once before as a passenger but he’d never flown an aeroplane before.”
The pair took off from Sandtoft Airfield, East Yorkshire, when the alarm was raised and airport staff stepped into action.
Mr Murray said he tried to keep the man calm. He said: “The last thing you want to do is panic… then all sorts can happen.” He said there were cheers in the airport control room as the plane landed safely on its fourth attempt. He added: “It’s a fantastic feeling knowing I have probably saved somebody’s life.”
Witness Stuart Sykes saw the aircraft land. He said: “It came down with a bump, bump, bump, hit front end down, I heard crashing and it’s come to a halt. There were sparks and three or four crashes, that must have been the propeller hitting the floor. Then it came to a stop.”
Fire crew were called and 50 emergency staff were ready and waiting for the passenger, whose condition was not known last night. A pilot called Mike B on Twitter said: “Well done to passenger who landed plane after pilot falls ill.
“Passenger’s words as he lands, ‘That must have been the worst landing ever’. The boy done well.” The pilot was taken to hospital by ambulance and the police have said that the pilot who fell ill at the controls of his plane forcing his passenger to land the light aircraft has died.
Wow! Kudos to the guy for managing to land the plane safely and all the airport staff for pitching in to try to help guide this guy!(: Meanwhile, RIP to the pilot who has been reported by the BBC news to have died in hospital ;/