A Florida man just did the unthinkable and safely landed an airplane after the pilot conked out, even though the man had absolutely no previous flight experience.
How refreshing is it to see a "Florida man" story with a happy ending?
The story happened on Tuesday after a man in small single-engine Cessna 280 called down to air-traffic control to report that the pilot had been flying the plane became "incoherent" and the man had no clue how to fly a plane.
From the AP:
"I've got a serious situation here," the man said Tuesday. "My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane."
An air traffic controller in Fort Pierce responded, asking if he knew the position of the single-engine Cessna 280.
"I have no idea. I can see the coast of Florida in front of me, and I have no idea," he said.
Twin controls enable a Cessna 280 to be steered from the passenger seat. Speaking very calmly, the controller told him to "maintain wings level and try to follow the coast, either north or southbound."
Can you even imagine being this dude?
He was able to radio it in and was told to stay level and follow the coast.
Minutes passed before controllers were able to locate the plane, which by then was heading north over Boca Raton. Then the man's voice seemed to fade, so the controller in Fort Pierce asked for his cellphone number to enable controllers at Palm Beach International Airport to communicate with him more clearly.
Yeah, it's at this point with the radio dropping out and they ask for my cell phone number that I REALLY begin to panic.
I'm sorry, but I do not want this life-or-death situation to be decided by whether or not I have full bars over the Atlantic Ocean.
But don't worry, the call didn't drop.
Air traffic controller Robert Morgan, a 20-year veteran, took over at that point, talking the passenger down to a safe landing.
"Kudos to the new pilot," one controller told him after the plane smoothly wheeled down the tarmac.
Morgan told WPBF that he felt like he was in the right place at the right time.
"I knew the plane was flying 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 he could descend to land. It felt really good to help someone," Morgan said.
Dude, his calm in the face of danger is just unreal.
Fox has a few more details from what went down at the control tower.
Robert Morgan, one of the air traffic controllers was outside the tower reading a book when they got the call...
Although Morgan had never flown a Cessna Caravan, he was able to guide the man to land safely by looking at a picture of the cockpit.
This dude at the control tower is such a pro!
He had never even flown this plane before but he knew exactly what to do just by looking at a picture.
"Before I knew it, he said, ‘I'm on the ground, how do I turn this thing off?'"
"You just witnessed a couple passengers land that plane," one of the controllers reportedly said over the radio.
"Did you say the passengers landed the plane?" another asked.
"That's correct," the controlle[r] replied.
"Oh, my gosh. Great job."
Morgan said he met the passenger on the tarmac and they hugged it out.
"It felt really good to help somebody and he told me that he couldn't wait to get home and hug his pregnant wife," Morgan said.
There is nothing more manly, in my mind, than saving a random gent's life and then running down to "hug it out" with the stranger.
This air traffic controller just saved the life of this man with a child on the way!
That's an everyday American hero for you!
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