The passenger Darren Harrison from Lakeland, Florida, was caught in a sticky situation when his pilot had a medical emergency while he was flying over the ocean.
Harrison can be heard over radio communicating to air traffic controllers and informing them that "I've got a serious situation here" and the "pilot is incoherent, he's out". Immediately air traffic controllers can be heard asking Harrison if he knows where he is, and he responds with, "I have no idea. I can see the coast of Florida in front of me, and I have no idea". The air traffic controller spoke very calmly to Harrison and instructed him to keep the wings of the plane level and to try to follow the coast while officials located the plane.
The passenger gave the air traffic controllers his cellphone number as communications via radio were fading out. Once located, Robert Morgan, a 20-year veteran air traffic controller, and flight instructor, guided Harrison back to Palm Beach International Airport, talking him through every step of the landing process using a photograph of the cockpit inside the model of the plane Harrison was flying. Harrison was able to make it back on the ground safely and actually impressed air traffic controllers with his near-perfect landing.
"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.
Robert Morgan (left) and Darren Harrison (right).
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