A passenger lands plane after the pilot fell ill and was unable to bring down the aircraft, reports The Associated Press on Oct. 9 via Fox News. The passenger had no flying experience, but was able to bring the plane down with assistance from ground crews and air traffic control.
The small plane, which was only carrying two passengers, issued a mayday call as it approached Humberside Airport in northeast England on Tuesday evening. The pilot became incapacitated, leaving the plane unmanned and forcing one of the two passengers to assume control of the cockpit just moments before the plane was due to start its decent.
“Flight instructors talked to the passenger from the ground and after several attempts the aircraft landed safely, although with a thump. Some witnesses described the plane bumping on the runway and sparks coming off the front of it,” the AP report said.
The passenger, known only as "John" thus far, reportedly made three passes over the airport, finally bringing the light aircraft down on his fourth attempt.
Rob Murray, a flight instructor and one of the individuals assisting from the ground, said the heroic passenger did a "remarkable job."
"I was concerned because the visibility was getting dark and as the guy hadn't flown an airplane before. He wasn’t sure of his switches in the aircraft, and everything was dark for him as well," said Murray.
Neither passenger was hurt, but the pilot later died. The full names of those involved have not yet been released.
Humberside Airport praised the response of emergency services, tweeting:
"We are pleased to say that the incident that started a few hours ago has been successfully dealt with. Great response from emergency svs!"