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Passenger safely lands aircraft after pilot incapacitated

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A passenger with no flight training safely landed a Cessna 208 Caravan in Palm Beach after the pilot became incapacitated during the flight. The flight from Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas to Fort Pierce, Florida was operated by Cessna 280 Caravan registered N333LD.

Pilot incapacitated, aircraft put into a dive

While en route from Marsh Harbour to Fort Pierce over the Atlantic Ocean at about 10,000 feet, the pilot of the aircraft became incapacitated and slumped on the controls. The aircraft entered a step dive turning right, before the passenger was able to gain control of the aircraft. He pulled the plane up, getting back to level flight.

Passenger gets some help from ATC

The passenger then called air traffic control to report what had happened. Air traffic controllers worked to find the plane and help him land safely. Controllers asked one of their colleagues who is also a certified flight instructor to help talk the passenger down safely. After printing out a copy of the Cessna’s flight deck, the controller was able to help the passenger safely land the aircraft in Palm Beach.

N333LD Landing PathWatch and listen to the landing

Video and air traffic control audio is available here.

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