The air traffic controller who helped an inexperienced passenger successfully land a plane on Wednesday (11) had never flown an aircraft of the model in question. He told details of the experience in an interview with the TV station WPBF.
Robert Morgan told the American network that he was outside the tower reading a book when his co-worker shouted, warning that there was a passenger flying a plane and that the pilot was unable to regain control. The incident took place at Palm Beach, Florida.
In the role for 20 years, Morgan is also a flight instructor with nearly 1,200 hours of experience. “I knew the plane was flying like any other. And I knew I had to keep it [o passageiro] calm, point out the runway and tell him how to reduce the power so he could descend to land,” he said.
Morgan said that he had never flown a Cessna 208 Grand Caravan like the one in the air, so he used a photo of the cabin to understand the details of the aircraft and pass it on to the man, who was not identified and was alone in the aircraft with the pilot.
An audio released by the website Live Air Traffic the passenger warning the control tower what had happened and saying that he did not know how to fly the single engine. “My pilot got confused, and I have no idea how to steer the plane.”
Talking to the passenger, Morgan discovered that the aircraft was off the coast of Boca Raton, Florida. That’s when he started to provide instructions on how to land the aircraft, directing the passenger to keep the wings level and to “push the controls forward, descending at a very slow speed”.
“Before I knew it, he was like, ‘I’m on the floor, how do I turn this off?
Obtaining permission to act as a private single-engine pilot requires at least 40 hours of flight time, in accordance with US federal aviation laws. The Cessna 208 model can be used to carry passengers and cargo, as well as land on water.
The US Federal Aviation Administration told CNN it was investigating the case, adding that the pilot’s condition, who reportedly had a “possible medical condition”, was not disclosed.