Passenger Landed Plane Safely After Pilot Died Mid-Flight

When the pilot of the twin-engine Beech aircraft passed out and died mid-flight, passenger Doug White of Archibald, Louisiana, took over the plane and landed it safely:

"We've had situations where passengers land airplanes before, but this is the first time I actually heard a controller actually tell the passenger to push this button and turn this knob," said Steve Wallace, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers in Miami. "It's a heck of an Easter story."

Wallace was working in the Miami air traffic control center when his air controllers couldn't reach the plane's pilot at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Miami center deals with planes at high altitude - 10,000 or more feet - in South Florida.

"We tried a couple times and didn't hear anything," Wallace said. "Then all of a sudden, we hear a passenger say, 'This is November 55 Niner Delta Whisky and my pilot is passed out. We need help now.'"

Link - Thanks Sharyn!


I have no idea why this continues to make big news. It's like a person who knows how to drive a car taking over driving a Greyhound bus if the driver conked out. He was a pilot already. My qualification for the comment is that I'm a 20 year pilot with experience in lots of airplanes. Guy did a good job, but the real news would have been if he had crashed - what was all that training for?!
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I like playing flight sims and have daydreamed about saving the day like this. Imagine the headlines... "Computer Gamer Saves Flight!"... *sigh*
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The propeller is just a big fan in the front of the plane to keep the pilot cool.
Want proof?
Make it stop; then watch the pilot break out into a sweat.
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@DaveL

You should know that would never actualy happen. On the other hand, if you had crashed it would be all over the news with "Computer Gamer Crashes Aircraft".
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