WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A passenger likely mustered up some nerves of steel Tuesday to guide a small plane to land on a runway at Palm Beach International Airport, according to multiple news outlets.
Despite having no flight experience, the passenger was able to take over and successfully land the plane after the pilot had a medical emergency, according to WPBF. The passenger's success was thanks to the expertise of an air traffic controller who guided him through the landing.
“I’ve got a serious situation here,” the passenger can be heard telling air traffic control in Fort Pierce, according to audio obtained by WPBF. “My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane.”
After making contact with air traffic control in Fort Pierce, the passenger was then transferred to Robert Morgan, a 20-year veteran, who was able to talk him through a safe landing.
"Kudos to that new pilot," one air traffic controller said after the plane landed safely, WPTV reported.
Morgan told WPBF 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.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Rick Breitenfeldt confirmed that the pilot and passenger were the only two people aboard. The agency is investigating, he said in an email. There was no immediate word on the condition of the pilot and authorities did not release their identities.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.