Passenger lands aircraft after pilot falls ill

2013-10-09 14:07
London - A passenger with no flying experience made an emergency landing in a light aircraft in Britain after the pilot became ill, officials said Wednesday.

He safely brought down the four-seater Cessna 172 on Tuesday evening with the help of two instructors on the ground, a spokesman for Humberside Airport in eastern England said.

The passenger was unhurt although police said the pilot later died, without giving details. The pair were the only ones onboard.

One of the instructors who helped talk the passenger down, Roy Murray, said he did a "remarkable job".

"He made quite a good landing, actually. He didn't know the layout of the aeroplane, he didn't have lights on so he was absolutely flying blind as well," Murray told the BBC.

Murray said there were cheers in the airport control room as the plane landed on its fourth attempt, adding: "It's a fantastic feeling knowing I have achieved something and probably saved somebody's life.

"I think without any sort of talk-down he would have just gone into the ground and that would have been the end of it."

The plane had taken off from an airfield in Yorkshire, further north, on Tuesday morning, the airport spokesman said.

"At 18:20 last night, the pilot declared an emergency shortly before falling ill and becoming unable to fly the plane," he told AFP.

The plane landed safely at 7:30pm, he said, adding: "It's an incredible story."

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is the most popular aircraft in the world, according to its manufacturer.

Read more on:    flights  |  air travel  |  travel  |  travel international

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.