Can You Land A Plane If Your Pilot Passed Out?

What are your chances?

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Can You Land A Plane If Your Pilot Passed Out?
Image: Unsplash

Almost everybody wants to experience a flight once in their life, and if they got the chance would like to fly a plane themselves. But what if a panic situation arrives where your Pilot is incapacitated, and you have to land the aircraft safely. Could you even do it?

Darren Harrison, who was flying from the Bahamas to Fort Pierce in Florida, faced a similar situation. The Pilot of his flight had gone “incoherent,” leaving the single-engine Cessna 208 aircraft with no one in control.

How did he land the aircraft?

Can You Land A Plane If Your Pilot Passed Out?
Image: Unsplash

According to a report from CNN, Harrison took matters into his own hands. With over-the-radio help from a certified flight instructor named Robert Morgan; he landed the plane almost perfectly at palm beach international airport.

This was one of the latest streaks of similarly “lucky talk-down landings,” said the report. Similar situations like this have risen before when a passenger had to land the plane with the assistance of someone from the ground.

The report further talked about Max Sylvester, who landed a plane in 2019 in Western Australia during his first flying session. After the Pilot of his flight lost consciousness, Max used his innate skills and safely landed.

A similar scenario appeared in 2013 when pensioner John Willie safely bought an aircraft to the ground in North East England after a few unsuccessful attempts. Although the cases happened in different parts of the world and at different points in time; there is something common between all of these events.

All of these lucky landings involved a single-engine Cessna aircraft. Flight schools prefer these small planes due to their sturdiness and relatively intuitive controls. The carrier is quite popular among enthusiasts for the same reason as well.

Can you land an Aircraft with no expertise?

But the question arises, can someone with no former experience safely land a plane? According to Douglas moss, who is a certified flight instructor, it is complicated to land an aircraft without expertise; however, it’s completely possible in a given scenario.

Firstly, When a person realizes that they are in a life or death situation, it automatically unlocks a will to survive. Secondly, if a flight instructor guides you via radio, you have a fighting chance. However, some natural talent to control mechanical devices is still required, he said.

Patrick Smith, an airline pilot who flies the Boeing aircraft, believes that; in the case of larger airplanes, no optimal situation would work for an inexperienced person. The report said, “A non-pilot wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to even work the communications radios, let alone fly and land the jet.”

Have you ever wished you could fly and land a plane? Comment down below.

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