Passenger Lands Plane After Pilot Goes Unconscious

Two pilots in a helicopter flying on a sunny day

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A passenger who had no flight experience is left to land his own plane after his pilot suffers medical emergency. It was fight or flight off of West Palm Beach once he knew was had control of the plane.

 "I have no idea how to fly the airplane."

A serious situation handled the right way is what led them to land this plane.

The Air Traffic Controller who assisted with the landing was on break when the call first came in, he also happens to be a certified flight instructor.

"I rush over there and I walk in and the room is really busy ... and they're like, 'Hey, this pilot's incapacitated. The passengers are flying the plane. They have no flying experience," Morgan told CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday.
"I said, 'Oh boy.'"

After communicating with the passenger Morgan learned that he was never flown a plane before but ahs been around other pilots while flying.

"He was really calm," Morgan said. "He said, 'I don't know how to fly. I don't know how to stop this thing if I do get on the runway.'"

Morgan also had never flown this style of plane and had to pull up a picture of the panel to help guide him.

"Try to hold the wings level and see if you can start descending for me. Push forward on the controls and descend at a very slow rate," the air traffic controller can be heard telling the fledgling pilot in LiveATC audio.
"Try to follow the coast either north or southbound. We're trying to locate you."

Morgan decided he was going to have the passenger land the plane at one of the busiest airports in the area.

"just so he could just have a really big target to aim at."

Together they were able to land the plane safely, that sort of touch style landing is something that would take 20 hours to learn.

Morgan rated his landing a 10/10.

"I felt like I was going to cry then, because I had so much adrenaline built up," Morgan said. "I was really happy that it worked out and that nobody got hurt."

When others learned what had just happened they were shocked when they learned he was a passenger with no experience.

"You just witnessed a couple of passengers land that plane," the tower operator can be heard telling an American Airlines pilot waiting to take off for Charlotte, North Carolina.
"Did you say the passengers landed the airplane?" the American Airlines pilot asked. "Oh, my God. Great job," he said.

The condition of the pilot has not been released but Federal Aviation Administration is currently investigating.

Once they landed the plane safely Morgan came out to meet his new student.

"It was an emotional moment. He said that he just wanted to get home to his pregnant wife," Morgan said. "And that felt even better."
"In my eyes, he was the hero," Morgan said. "I was just doing my job."

Check out the video below.


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