Good Save

Both a passenger and air traffic control did an outstanding job in handling an emergency at 10,000 feet when the passenger took the controls and  landed a King Air with help from ATC after the pilot died in mid-flight. 

The passenger, who took the controls and was in contact with the control tower in Miami, and subsequently in Fort Myers, has single-engine plane experience, said Bergen. He had been a pilot since at least 1990. However, he was not certified to fly a twin-engine plane like the King Air, which is a large luxury plane, said Wallace. To instruct him on how to maneuver the plane and bring it back to earth, one air traffic controller got on the phone with a friend in Connecticut who is rated to fly the King Air aircraft.

Many air traffic controllers are actually pilots-mighty handy in a situation like this. Some ATC types can be down right cranky but most are there to help. Especially some of us who need a hand from time to time. That’s why they established the Archie League and Controller Commendation awards for folks that help handle life threatening situations, including smoke in the cockpit, low fuel, vacuum pump failures, and icing.

Listen to some of the audio exchanges of the award winners here. If you got an emergency, who else ‘ya gonna call?

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3 responses to “Good Save

  1. virgil xenophon

    I mentioned either at XBrads or somewhere else the fact that it was made even harder to do it from the right seat too. Smaller aux AH and fewer insts. which complicates cross-check plus working everything in reverse looking left rather than right–same for working throttles and radios. And with no one else (wife or child)in the other seat to at least call out alt & airspeed changes. A really Sierra Hotel grease job!

  2. Yep-the pilot was Sierra Hotel. I am sure many pilots envision themselves saving the day in that situation. Not me. It’s not the way to get a fam flight and OTJ training. I have enough trouble flying right seat in a plane that I know. BZ to the pilot and controllers!

  3. Pingback: Something’s Got to Give « Blue Side Up

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