Untrained Passenger Lands Airplane After Pilot Falls Fatally Ill

By Gerald Lynch on at

In what must have felt like living through a scene from a Die Hard movie, an airplane passenger without any flight experience early yesterday morning had to make a daring emergency landing when the pilot fell fatally ill.

The light aircraft issued a distress call shortly after taking off from a small airfield in Doncaster, with the passenger being given hurried landing instructions from ground control crew at Humberside Airport.

Remarkably, after four near-miss attempts, the passenger pulled off the death-defying feat. "It came down with a bump, a bump, a bump, hit the front end down. I heard some crashing and it's come to a halt," an eyewitness told the BBC.

"There were a few sparks and three or four crashes, that must have been the propeller hitting the floor. Then it uprighted again and came to a stop."

The passenger was able to walk away shaken but largely unscathed with a story that would make John McClane proud. The pilot, sadly, passed away later on Tuesday night. [BBC via Guardian]

Image Credit: Small fixed wing plane against a stormy sky from Shutterstock.com