LISTEN: Audio shows how Florida air traffic controller helped passenger land plane safely

The passenger took over after the pilot became ‘incoherent’

Listen in as a passenger lands a plan in Florida after a pilot became "incoherent."

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Audio from a Florida air traffic control tower showed how a controller helped a scared passenger land a plane in West Palm Beach after the pilot was incapacitated.

The passenger landed the single-engine Cessna 208 plane safely Tuesday at Palm Beach International Airport, but the audio shows some stressful moments.

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“I’ve got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane,” said the unidentified passenger-turned-pilot.

“Roger, what’s your position?” responds the air traffic controller.

“I have no idea. I can see the coast of Florida in front of me. I have no idea,” the passenger said.

The air traffic controller at the Fort Pierce tower helped the passenger descend the plane to 5,000 feet so that they could locate the plane on radar, according to audio of the incident.

Once the plane was located, the next step was trying to get the plane to PBI and land it safely.

“I have no idea how to stop an airplane. I don’t know how to do that,” the passenger said.

“Number Three Lima Delta Palm Beach approach is going to talk to you. They’re going to direct you to the Palm Beach Airport. You should hear them on this frequency momentarily,” the controller said.

The passenger was able to land the plane without incident. One person was taken to the hospital, and the FAA is investigating.

Click on the video above to hear the audio.

About the Author:

Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.