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."

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