Robert said that he was on break at the time of the incident and was reading a book outside the tower. Then a fellow worker said, ‘A passenger is flying the plane. He’s not a pilot. The pilot is ill, so you have to help him land the plane. Robert was the best person for this job. He has been controlling the tower for nearly 20 years and has been a flight instructor. ‘I knew I had to keep calm,’ said Robert.
‘I had no experience flying a plane’
After this, Robert started telling Darren how to land the plane. Passenger Darren, with the help of Robert sitting in the Air Traffic Controller (ATC), made the plane land safely about 70 miles away. In fact, after the pilot’s health deteriorated during the flight, a passenger pleaded for help through ‘cockpit radio’. Passenger Darren said on Tuesday, ‘The situation was very serious. The pilot could not understand anything due to ill health. I had no experience of flying an aircraft.
After pleading for help via ‘cockpit radio’, the Air Traffic Controller (ATC) at Fort Pierce responded and asked the passenger if he knew anything about the single-engine Cessna 280. Darren said, ‘I had no idea. I could see the Florida coast in front of me and I knew nothing. After this, Robert spoke to them very calmly and asked them to keep the plane’s wings balanced and move towards the shore. Minutes later, he traced the location of the plane. They learned that the plane was heading north over Boca Raton.
‘The passenger was in the right place, at the right time’
When the passenger’s voice slowed down, ATC asked him for his phone number so that he could speak comfortably with ATC at Palm Beach International Airport. Air traffic controller Robert Morgan then took over and landed the plane safely. As the passenger plane landed safely on the ‘tarmac’, another controller said, ‘Congratulations to the new pilot.’ Morgan said it looked like the passenger was in the right place, at the right time. There was no immediate information about the condition of the pilot now.