• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Passenger lands plane safely after pilot falls ill mid-flight

October 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A passenger with no flying experience landed a small airplane safely at a British airport after the pilot became ill Tuesday.

Officials said the plane sent a mayday call as it returned to the Sandtoft airfield in northeast England after the pilot collapsed mid-flight.

With step-by-step instructions from flight instructors, John Wildey was able to successfully land the plane at Humberside Airport.

"The passenger flew over the airport a couple of times and was then talked down by two flight instructors, and the emergency services were waiting for them when he landed safely," the airport said in a statement.

Wildey said he could not reach the brakes at first and thought he would not make it, but eventually managed to stop the plane.

Wildey and the pilot, who died upon landing, were the only people onboard the small plane.

An inquest is now underway to establish what caused the pilot's sudden death.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Load Comments