Sitting on a plane without a pilot is like sitting on the backseat of a bicycle that your younger sibling is riding. On that bicycle ride, ultimately you have to take charge and handle the situation. Well, something similar happened on a flight from the Bahamas.
On May 10, a passenger with no flying experience landed a plane at a Florida airport after the pilot became incapacitated due to a “medical emergency”.
Passenger with no flying experience safely lands a Cessna 208 at Palm Beach Airport after pilot became incapacitated with a medical issue. https://t.co/aoMjfNNX1R pic.twitter.com/RcoKefNAul— Breaking Aviation News & Videos (@aviationbrk) May 11, 2022
On Tuesday, a flight that took off from Leonard M Thompson International Airport in the Bahamas. It was a single-engine Cessna 208 with two passengers on board.
The pilot had a possible medical issue and became incapacitated. So, a passenger took charge. And to everyone’s surprise, the plane landed safely at a Florida airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) later investigated the case.
In the LiveATC.net audio, the passenger can be heard saying, “I’ve got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent and I have no idea how to fly the airplane. He is incoherent. He is out.”
“I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea.”
All the desi fans can here recall the Dhamaal scene that makes you laugh till your stomach hurts, each time. It is one of the epic comedy scenes of all time.
But in reality, this is a panic-like situation which is stressful even in imagination.
Well, this is not the first time when passengers had to handle the plane and make a safe landing. In 2000, a similar incident happened, when the pilot of a small place with a family onboard collapsed.
Henry George Anhalt with his wife and three sons was on a private plane in the Bahamas. And in the middle of the flight, the pilot collapsed and was later declared dead at the hospital.
On top of that, the plane was also running out of fuel
In this troublesome situation, Anhalt with the help of instructions from a flight instructor, landed the plane.
A still from Dhamaal's plane scene
Now that you are familiar with such incidents, it will be impossible for you to board a flight without having thoughts like “What if the pilot passes out!?”
Therefore, it is essential to know what to do in such a situation.
Pilot incapacitation is a term used to describe loss of a pilot who is a part of the operating crew. This usually happens due to medical emergencies.
Some adverse health issues can make a pilot incapable of performing the assigned duties. These are usually sudden like a cardiac event, brain disorder, internal bleeding, vertigo and more.
Sometimes, minor issues like extreme fatigue can also keep the pilot from performing their duties.
But you don’t have to worry about such situations because there are always two pilots flying the plane, a commander and a co-pilot. So, if one of them faces an emergency, the other can take control.
In such situations, the other pilot informs the control room immediately. The flight may also make an emergency landing if the situation is not under control.