Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Cessna 208 Caravan, N333LD: May 10, 2022 at Palm Beach International Airport (KPBI), Palm Beach County, Florida

Beach Amphibian LLC

164 comments:

  1. I can't believe that ATC asked the guy for a decent right away! Bad idea. Also, asking him to ident, change frequencies and copy a phone number. All bad ideas that could distract him and lead to a bad situation. My goal would be to just have him stay wings level and try and walk him through getting the autopilot on and how to use it. Bring him in on a AP controlled ILS and all he has to do is adjust power and flare. Big props to the passenger that pulled this off though!

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    1. Dumbest thing I've ever read. Configuring an autopilot and avionics to fly a coupled approach is not trivial, especially in a Caravan, which has one of the worst autopilots unleashed on mankind.

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    2. Yeah, either is landing an airplane if you've never flown, but what do I know, I'm just a commercial pilot with over 1000 hours of C208 time.

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    3. Agree with reply to this original post. What are you thinking? And the guy landed the plane successfully with those instructions. Who are you to put a negative spin on this?

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    4. Soo... rather than asking him to push a button, turn a knob, and use technology like a cell phone, you would ask him to fly an instrument approach using specialized equipment that even some pilots (let alone the controller) may not know how to operate without reading a handbook? Equipment that takes control of the aircraft away from him, and if configured incorrectly can cause the airplane to act unexpectedly? Descending was a great idea. Gives the passenger(now pilot) a sense of how control the aircraft and descend properly, and 5,000ft is a decent glide altitude from where they were located near the airport at sea level. They needed to get the plane on the ground, and likely more oxygen to the pilot. Glad Mr. Morgan was the controller.

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    5. Pushing a button and turning a knob is the literal description of using the autopilot, so I just don't know what you are talking about. And yes, I want to take away control of the airplane from the guy that doesn't know how to fly.

      As for descending to get more oxygen, that is nonsense. He would not be flying at altitudes high enough to worry about oxygen if there are passengers on board. Sounds like he was at around 8000 ft initially, if you can believe what the non-pilot was reporting.

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    6. Something smells fishy to me about the story. How many people are on this very small plane? Why did the pilot become incoherent after being in the Bahamas? Yeah I don’t think so I think we’re going to find out a whole lot more about this pilot and this hero Who should be the guy that landed the plane maybe but the guy taking all the credit is the controller. Fishy

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    7. FAA blog post says two passengers were on board with the pilot, but no photo or mention of the immensely grateful second passenger appreciating the controller. The overall story so far is at risk of earning a second unidentified person on the grassy knoll at Dealey Plaza vibe.

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    8. Wow, someone wanting privacy away from the glare of the media? Imagine that! Naw, that can't be it.... there must be some JFK level conspiracy going on here!

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    9. The ATC thought the pilot might have been experiencing hypoxia symptoms, hence the decent. Think before you comment dumb stuff

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    10. Why wasn't the plane already in AP mode? Pilot was feeling sick for a while so I can't picture myself not feeling well and handfly. How did he work the PTT since he didn't know how to plug the headset in and had to use the headset that been plug in on the copilot side? What did the other passengers do just sit there or panic or took care of the pilot or what and why doesn't he say anything? How did they use the radios if the screens on G1000 went black? How did the non pilot knew in an emergency not to pull to much on the yoke not to cause structural damage as he stated today on the news. There is so many inconsistencies...

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  2. It never fails. Even when professionals use their knowledge and judgment to successfully handle a situation and even when they achieve an ideal outcome, armchair experts come out of the woodwork and criticize those decisions in the comment section.

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    1. Does anyone know what happened to the pilot?

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    2. I defy you to find a single flight instructor or commercial pilot who thinks it's a good idea to have a non-pilot try a decent right away and distract him with tasks like switching frequencies and indenting. Sorry, but if the plane is flying straight and level, don't touch anything. Let's go over some basic instruments, talk about how things work and get that autopilot on. You may disagree, and I have never had to handle an emergency like this, but I have taught dozens of people to fly, so I think I have a valid opinion.

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    3. "distract him with tasks like switching frequencies and indenting". Sorry smart guy, but it was critical and time sensitive to determine their location and heading, as they may have been heading out to the ocean and away from land and quickly be out of radio reception. The only way to do that is by having them hit ident to locate their radar target. Most transponders have a button labeled IDENT, so as the plane was flying straight and level, the passenger has time to find that button and push it, versus your idea of the controller giving them some cockpit orientation lesson about basic instruments.

      Same applies to switching frequencies. From the transcript, you can tell the reception between the tower and the plane was bad and seemed to be getting worse. If the plane flew out of range of the tower transmitter (which is typically weaker than approach) before they could give them a better frequency, they would be screwed. Also, they were talking to a tower and the tower controller wanted to switch them to approach which typically has much better radar coverage, as well as multiple stronger radio transmitters and also can much more easily coordinate with various airports and other facilities to get this plane the help it needed.

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    4. So anonymous says "I defy you to find a single flight instructor or commercial pilot who thinks it's a good idea to have a non-pilot try a decent right away and distract him with tasks like switching frequencies and indenting."

      So this anonymous self-proclaimed expert determines that an airplane that has been traveling at 12,000 feet for 40 minutes, with an unconscious pilot, , in an unknown location and direction, should not descend to where there's more oxygen available, and should not attempt to identify themselves with a squawk code, and should not have a backup communication method ready.

      I've come across some pilots with bad instructors in their history. I wonder if they were among your "dozens".

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    5. I think some of you guys are a little nuts.
      You can find a plane (and they did) without them hitting the ident button. Ident just makes it easier. You also don't need to have the pilot switch frequencies as the other controllers can switch to the pilot's frequency if they need to (which I also think they did).

      As far as these super complicated GPSs... look, I don't know what equipment was in this aircraft, but doing basic altitude hold and hdg functions are quite easy in all autopilots. With a Garmin G700 or G1000, which are very common, all you have to do is press the AP button to turn on the auto pilot and then press the ALT button to get altitude hold. Press the HDG button and now you have the AP flying what ever heading you have the bug set to. After that you can literally control the altitude and heading of the airplane by just turning the corresponding ALT and HDG dials.

      Sure, setting up the coupled approach is a little harder, by if someone can use a smartphone, I can talk them through setting it up easily. And once you have the autopilot flying the plane, you have time to go over things without worrying about the pilot losing control.

      When this all comes out, I will be quite surprised if the first thing the instructor/ controller did was not getting the autopilot turned on.


      Oh, and for those you dismissed my measly 1000 hours, yes that is in type. 3,500 total time, which certainly doesn't make me an expert, but I am a competent pilot who understands a bit about how things work. Cheers!


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    6. There is no way someone with no flying experience or understanding as to how a plane flies could make a landing like that. It is simply impossible. He would not know how to coordinate something as basic as the relationship between airspeed and altitude.

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    7. It may be possible, but highly unlikely...and his victory media tour while the pilot and passenger remain unnamed. To many holes in the story and too much hero worship....hell, Sully was more restrained in accepting hero accolades and doing the national media tour.

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    8. Agree with JWC comment. Seems to me there is more to this story than his been said to date.

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  3. It looks like the final segment was the ILS 10L or RNAV (GPS) Y 10L. Straight as an arrow, and there was a crosswind at the time. Seems to me that they managed to get him to program the autopilot to fly the approach. That would make sense to me: it is probably easier to get a passenger to program the autopilot than to teach him how to fly by hand over the phone, particularly if the passenger is computer literate.

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    1. We stand corrected. Just watched the interview with the controller / CFI who guided him down. He hand flew it. Hats off!

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    1. I am leaning with your answer.

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    2. Same. Passenger-turned-pilot uses verbage like a pilot at times, and seems to know how to know to read instruments pretty well...how many passengers with zero cockpit knowledge can tell you the current altitude and vertical descent rate? And, he knew his "nav screen" would give position info? And, then, maybe he realized how it sounded and realized he'd better dial back on his language so it was a good idea to not recognize the transponder or Ident button to make it more believable.

      Just seems a little too good to be true, with the "maintaining at 9100'" talk and handling a crosswind so well with no experience whatsoever,although I don't know why anyone would pull this sort of hoax.

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    3. wow, just wow. Q anyone?

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    4. I think it's plausible. I studied aircraft, watched flight videos, listened to LiveATC, and flew flight simulators for many years before I ever took my first flight lesson. On my first flight, my CFI never touched the controls or explained any instruments and he had me do everything except talk on the radio. On my second flight, he had me do all the radio calls too. Pretty much his main critique was that I staring at the instruments too much and wasn't looking outside enough, which he said was typical for people with lots of flight sim experience.

      If I had been in the scenario of having to take over for an incapacitated pilot, I would have told ATC I knew nothing about flying a plane too, because I think that playing flight sim games doesn't count and I'd rather have ATC expect the worst from me than assume I know more than I did. Granted, my first flight wasn't in a 208, but I think even at zero actual flight hours, I probably could have gotten one on the ground too if I had to.

      This also isn't the first time an untrained passenger has landed a plane. An elderly woman landed a plane a decade ago when her husband/pilot died https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-17605770

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    5. "Passenger-turned-pilot uses verbage like a pilot at times"

      Did you actually listen to the tape or do you have no idea what pilot verbiage actually is?

      He said "10-4" numerous times. No pilot says that. He said "N triple 3 lima delta" instead of "November Triple Three Lima Delta" He also said all the altitudes wrong. 9100 was said as "ninety one hundred" instead of the correct "niner thousand one hundred". 8640 as "eighty six forty" instead "eight thousand, six hundred forty" etc. He called the autopilot "the electronics".

      About the only pilot verbiage he did say was "maintaining", which is hardly a unique word to aviation and probably something he heard the pilot say before he passed out, and he also said "squawk" but only after the controller said it first.

      He doesn't sound like a pilot, but he does sound like someone who is comfortable using technical terms while talking on a radio. My guess would be he is a first responder or similar job. I've taken many non-pilots flying and almost all could figure out what the altimeter was without me telling them. You don't have to be a genius to look at a 6 pack and figure out which one might tell you height above ground, it's pretty much the only one that fits and usually it's labeled "Altitude" or at least "ALT". And then when that one decreases, the one labeled "VERTICAL SPEED" that shows a negative rate clearly is telling you descent rate. If the plane had a G1000, it's even easier. I know we as pilots like to think what we do is super complicated, hard to understand, and impossible to learn without hours of training but the average person is smarter than you'd think.

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    6. from a news article he was indeed putting flaps down etc:

      Morgan walked the passenger through turns, selecting flap settings needed to create enough lift at slower speeds and trim (to alleviate pressure from the control surfaces during flap extension) and explaining how to land. He then made sure the passenger had the Palm Beach runway in sight.

      Morgan guided the passenger through a long, stable final approach. He described what the runway was going to look like as the plane descended. Once the aircraft was over the runway, Morgan explained to the passenger how to keep the nose barely off the ground until the main gear touchdown. The passenger did not know how to stop the plane, so the controller instructed the pilot how to brake and adjust levers.

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    7. "Anonymous - Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at 4:47:00 PM EDT

      wow, just wow. Q anyone?"


      ^^I was thinking more along the fraud news lines of the New York Slimes or Washington Compost. Or DNCNN, PMSNBC, etc. on fraud news networks....

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    8. Saying 10-4 mimics the Eric Foreman "I guess I'm just bad at it" strategy from That 70's Show.

      What did the second passenger the incapacitated pilot was reportedly carrying say about the whole experience?

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    9. LOL....million dollar question no one can answer.

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  5. I think this is going to turn out to be a hoax. There is simply no way a person with no flight training can successfully land a 208. Think of everything he'd have to do right, and all the things he'd have to not do wrong. When I started training I didn't even work the radios for the first few flights because I didn't know how to switch frequencies and such. And this guy was putting 7700 into the transponder?? no way. I think hoax. He'd have to have managed engine speed, trim control, flaps, flare, etc all pretty much perfectly. I don't think it's doable.

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    1. There is simply no way a person with no flight training can successfully land a 208.

      LOL at all the people who struggled in flight training getting defensive when someone naturally gifted does what they couldn't manage with ease. Maybe he played a lot of flight sim games growing up? Maybe he has good hand-eye coordination? If he actually had training, there will be a record.

      And do you really think a commercial pilot who was PIC is going to risk his ticket on a hoax? Even if the FAA doesn't uncover deception, they will likely yank the PIC's medical now he has suffered an in-flight medical incapacitation, especially if they can't find a cause (which they won't if it was faked.)

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    2. This is a really funny comment. "Maybe he has good hand-eye coordination?". As if landing a complex aircraft depends on hand-eye coordination only. There are just some things you have to actually know. Like how to control the throttle and the propeller pitch and work the rudder pedals and how much force it takes to pull back on the yoke to arrest the descent, etc. That's not hand-eye coordination that's many hours of training and practice.

      What you're proposing is somebody who's never played piano in their life sitting down and successfully playing Mozart while knowing a little error would kill them and anybody else in the near vicinity.

      I'll take your bet. Name your price. This story has more to it or it's a total hoax. It would be almost impossible for a random passenger to successfully land a 208, esp in a crosswind

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    3. LOL!!! Did you really just compare the ability to get a 206 on the ground without killing yourself and "anyone else in the near vicinity" to flawlessly playing Mozart without making a single mistake? I'm sorry flight training was such a struggle for you, but most people don't have that much difficulty. "Control the propeller pitch". Really? Just put it full forward and don't worry about it. "Rudder" You'd be surprised how many licensed pilots fly around like they forgot the rudder pedals exist. It doesn't have to be a great landing, just one you can walk away from.

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    4. LOL. So, nearly all flights before the creation of simulators ended in crashes?

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    5. i also think there is more to this story, no way does he have "no experience"

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    6. I agree,to many inconsistencies. How did he know how to recover from an unusual attitude with no flight experience but can't ug in a headset. Also stated that the headset had 3 plugs??? Watch the interview on NBC with Savanah.

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  6. So if the destination was FPR and the pilot was incapacitated, would this non-pilot (Who apparently had some flight school), be able to dial in the PBI tower, especially when he allegedly had no idea where he was?

    Sounds kind of fishy.

    Great landing!

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  7. Non-pilot here. Forgetting if real or hoax, or should they have had him do this or that…why did PB tower let the AA Airbus hold so close to the active runway? If facts are as stated…this guy could have wound up anywhere on the airport grounds! Also, what’s with his state of calm? Maybe he took a little something before the flight?

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  8. and show us the disabled PIC laying in a hospital bed wired to multiple monitors ..

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    1. Yeah sure, let's violate the privacy of someone who just suffered a potentially deadly medical event by showing them in their hospital bed just to satisfy the voyeuristic cravings of the heartless masses. Have you no humanity?

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    2. Well to find out the identity of the pilot and the other passenger should not be difficult since there had to be APIS with all info. Also I am wondering if they all got processed by US customs since such a sensation like passenger landing an airplane clearly customs could cut the a slack. Maybe they needed to smugle something in... Just a thought.

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  9. I find this hard to believe. There's more to this story. No way someone with no experience of any kind could have done that.

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    1. when you look at his flight track, he brought the final in perfectly straight (so straight it looks like an autopilot line) and landed right on the centerline. pretty tough to believe with no flight training.

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    2. His final track ain't that straight. Someone else posted this nice analysis. https://imgur.com/a/gMptfJo

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    3. Hardly what is in question here. Why nothing about the condition of the pilot thru the 40 minute ordeal ? What was the second passenger doing...reading a book...sightseeing ? Far too many missing details to worry about the final flight path being of importance.

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  10. These are some of the most off the wall comments I've read on this page in a couple of years. I agree with the ATC giving the pilot too much to do to meet their needs, rather than giving service to the new pilot's needs. The rest of the comments here are just . . . odd. And if anyone thinks they are clever. . . nope.

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  11. So many unqualified comments. As a pilot, I look at the data but try not to jump into conclusions. What do the data say?

    1. final approach path is exactly congruent with published instrument approaches
    2. the plane is flying straight as an arrow. That means the autopilot was flying it.
    3. Flaps were not deployed, and the landing was pretty hard (no flare) as far as one can tell from the video of the news station. The POH says landing speed for flaps up is 100-115 KIAS, and he landed at 115 KIAS per the flightradar24 trace. That's ground speed, but close enough as there was no tailwind

    What might one conclude? My bet is that they got him to program the RNAV 10L and couple the autopilot. They didn't want to mess with flaps, probably because it would allow to keep the nose higher and he wouldn't have to flare (not sure about this, I have not flown this type). The only thing he had to do is control the throttle, and the autopilot flew it all the way down to the touchdown.

    seems plausible to me. What do others think?

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    1. The final approach path only matches an instrument approach at the very end when it tracks the centerline to touchdown, which pretty much all instrument approaches do. If you take a closer look at the track, you'll see it's not quite arrow straight. It wanders quite a bit even on final. https://imgur.com/a/gMptfJo
      It's amazing what you can accomplish when you have the laser sharp focus of someone who knows they will die if they get this wrong.

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    2. yeah, you might be right. In which case I find it even more amazing. I think that many computer literate people might be instructed how to program the autopilot via facetime, but to fly such a straight line and regular descent first time you fly, that is quite a feat. I am impressed. And I do NOT think this is a hoax, like so many people on this thread.

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    3. I stand corrected. According to the CFI / controller who guided him down, the passenger-turned-pilot hand flew it. No flaps because he couldn't manage to reset the trim, so after they tried flaps 10, they went back to no flaps. Remarkable guy.

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  12. An FAA blog post with more info and a photo of the passenger-turned-pilot: https://medium.com/@FederalAviationAdministration/miracle-in-the-air-air-traffic-controllers-guide-passenger-to-land-plane-safely-27362004f07c

    I'm sure the grumpy mob on here will work feverishly to uncover who this mystery passenger is and come up with rubbish conspiracy theories about how he must secretly have an ATP rating and years of training. How dare this guy succeed at something and threaten to dispel the myth that what we do as pilots is some superhuman feat that mere untrained mortals have no hope to do without dying in a fiery explosion.

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    1. Beware the frail male ego!

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    2. That FAA blog post at medium.com (as viewed at the time of this comment posting) stated that the landing was at 4:37 p.m. local time and that the commercial pilot became unwell at noon EDT.

      The passenger didn't pilot the C208 for four and a half hours. The conversion of 16:37 Z ADS-B landing time to EDT was botched.

      Elapsed time between pilot incapacitation and landing was about 40 minutes in the ADS-B track data but the FAA blog poster's mistake gives the frail ego suspects an opportunity to save face by saying that lots of people could do what he did after four and a half hours of practice.

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  13. Just one of the most incredible feats a laymen can do. Fly CPU sims for fun and consider me a dashboard novice with hours. Not sure I hold myself together like this gentleman. Me and the wife gonna write the screen play.

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  14. Instead of arguing about what each of us commenting might have instructed the passenger to do to get down, take a close look specifically at the turn executions seen in ADS-B during the passenger's initial alignment to head north along the turnpike, and at the end of the circle to get aligned for long final.

    Those turns are suspiciously free of overshoot. Maybe he is a quick learner or a natural talent, but let's all earnestly hope that the commercial pilot wasn't dosed with Rohypnol or some other disabling compound by one of the two passengers so that a "miracle story" could earn a tour of the network morning shows.

    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a3a1f2&lat=26.566&lon=-80.227&zoom=10.5&showTrace=2022-05-10&leg=3&trackLabels&timestamp=1652200296

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    1. You know how you don't overshoot turns? Start them early, which is exactly what ATC told him to do. You might want to take a closer look at the times for that turn to final. It started at 16:31:00Z and ended 180 degrees later at 16:33:16Z. That's 180 degrees in over 2:15 minutes, less than half a standard rate turn. It's not too hard to nail a turn when ATC tells you when to start it and you are turning less than half standard rate. If you are having trouble with overshooting turns, you should try it!

      The Rohypnol comment is hilarious. In these post 9/11 days, do you think anyone can take flight lessons with no record with the FAA? So what's the play here, find a way to take secret off the books lessons with a shady CFI for months and then somehow drug your pilot, hope they don't detect it in his blood, and also hope you don't screw up and die. Speaking of 9/11, I bet you think that's a hoax too, right?

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    2. Think logically and choose whether you want to assert that a person under the stress of having to save his own life by performing pilot duties with no prior experience can nail all of the turns by remote verbal instruction the first time or a person has to take "lessons with a shady CFI for months" to do so.

      It's a revealing "tell" that someone would believe that trotting out the "911 denier" smear bolsters presenting that illogical paradox of no training experience required vs. months of training experience required.

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    3. The "tell" here is how triggered you got when the first commenter mentioned "deniers". You might want to "think logically" and wonder if your BS suggestion that getting a "tour of the network morning shows" was the motive to go through some elaborate and risky game of drug the pilot, why has the passenger not even released his name, let alone agreed to any interviews?

      Also, you must be pretty bad at your flight sim game if you think that track shows the passenger nailing anything. His airspeed and altitude were all over the place and if you actually knew what a correct turn to final looked like, you'd see he DID totally overshoot by about 1700 feet right of centerline and never quite got back onto centerline until right before landing. Any real pilot would be embarrassed by that track not jealous of it. See for yourself https://imgur.com/a/gMptfJo

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    4. Who would expect a big reaction to simply pointing out a paradox identifiable in the post that was being responded to between two conflicting assertions of "It's not too hard to nail a turn..." versus "lessons with a shady CFI for months" being required?

      And the original post of 10:42 PM May 11 owns the "It's not too hard to nail a turn..." statement, making criticism of "nailing it" expressed in the second paragraph of the 2:07 PM May 12 reply not applicable to the 5:40 AM May 12 post that outed the paradox.

      When someone engaged in technical discussion doesn't have a strong foundation, their weaker presentation isn't improved by adding insults or unflattering descriptions, but it's the internet and such behaviour is to be expected.

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  15. Man, there are some sour grumpy f**ks on this site. Here we finally have an uplifting story on KR where no one was killed or injured nor was a plane nor property wrecked, and all you guys care about is how butthurt your fragile egos are because someone tore down your hero complex by doing something with no training that you all spent hundreds of hours perfecting. So rather than accept that, you have to crap all over it claiming it's some sort of hoax and there is no way someone could do what you do without going through all the training you did.

    As a CFI, I've had some students that fly better at hour 1 than many do at hour 40. Some people are just naturals - it happens. And it's not that hard to get first time students to fly a razor straight track to the runway. I teach them in lesson one. Pick a bug splat near the center of the windshield and make sure the runway stays behind it, using a light touch, small inputs and don't over control. 90% of them will fly a ground track straight enough to look like an autopilot. Constant decent rate, well that's another story, but this guy's descent rate was all over the place too and his landing was nose heavy, hardly a greaser. Don't worry gents, your careers are still safe. :)

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    1. Also, British pilot Craig Butfoy, South African pilot William Chandler, Swedish pilot Thomas Salme, Russian pilot Taras Shelest, US pilot Michael Fay....

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    2. Cessna 400 Corvalis TT (LC41-550FG), N660BA

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  17. 100% plausible.

    A friend of mine, also a CFI, has told me of numerous high school kids landing on their first try. They had a bunch of XPlane or Flight Simulator hours and had no idea of the aerodynamics involved but could land the aircraft. I've flown a Caravan on XPlane, I prefer flying a real aircraft in real air but the sim can be helpful.

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    1. Sure there are people who can land an airplane the first time out,ofcourse the CFIsits in the right seat and just in case they screw it up the CFIsaves the day so no worries. I do not think that the student knows the first day how to safely recover from an unusual attitude either so...
      I want to know the truth that's all.

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  18. Looked at the photos on the FAA site. That guys got to be a pilot. I mean come on he looks like a pilot. LOL

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    1. Strangely, none of the articles mention the passenger's name, even the article with the photos of him. That's actually pretty weird

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    2. Man, the way some losers are already saying this is a hoax or even accusing the passenger of drugging the pilot, I honestly don't blame him for not wanting to publish his name. Also, the fact he hasn't run to the media or even given his name out in public kinda blows the whole "he did it as a hoax for the fame and glory" motive out of the water.

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    3. Not in the registry. Maybe totally legit

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  19. We never let the facts get in the way of a spectacular story....there is more to come...

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  20. I’m an ATP, CFIIMEI, Rotorcraft, 20,000 hours of flight time, 5,000 hours of instruction given and a DPE. All these comments, great personal feelings, condescending to those who helped that guy get down, didn’t do it your way and etc.. You know, all those that talked him through the descent, slowing down, not bouncing off the nose gear when he landed, and stopping the 208 without running off the runway….. DID A PHENOMENAL JOB!!! Bad Human Factors, Adrenaline, CFIT could’ve happened, stall, oh so many things that could’ve killed them all. Those that provided the information, with their experience and Team efforts were successful into saving all those on board. The bottom line, congratulations and compliments should be extended to those that helped get the adhoc pilot and passengers SAFELY ON THE GROUND!

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  21. Probably another Vaxxed pilot "with a medical emergency"....

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  22. Anybody else find it kinda odd that none of news articles or even the faa article with photos of the passenger identify him by name?

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  23. With the FAA's blog post stating that the incapacitated pilot had two passengers aboard, it is disappointing to see that the second passenger didn't participate in the celebratory photos and add his own appreciation of the good work the controllers did in talking them down.

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  24. It kinda feels like this guy or his friends and family are on here disparaging anybody who dares question the circumstances of this flight. There's nothing wrong with questions, the faa is going to do an investigation as well. But the vitriol and level of criticism towards comments not drinking the kool-aid right from the start is super bizarre. Face it, there are some real dubious elements to this story as presented, but time will tell.

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    1. Friends or family involvement is not required for scolding to erupt against anyone who doesn't blindly accept a feel good story these days.

      Even a comment that a person caught starting a California wildfire makes that particular fire not attributable to climate change will get the mob treatment and the "denier" label.

      That kind of mob behaviour is the principle illustrated by the story of The Monkey, Banana and Water Spray Experiment, which wouldn't even have to itself be true to illustrate the mob behaviour relevance.

      https://attheintersectionblog.com/2013/03/06/the-monkey-experiment-and-edgar-schein/

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  25. I found it plausible that one could follow instructions to set the AP to fly an ILS or LPV into the runway. My first thought that quickly led to skepticism, how is it possible that someone with zero flight experience could at that moment figure out how to steer an airplane on rollout at that kind of speed? Even with no crosswind I'd have expected the best case scenario to be a 100 foot excursion into the grass.

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    1. The "learned how to do coupled approach" presumption competes with not being able to set 7700 into the transponder or do an ident. (If Adsbexchange track recording, which displays "Squawk: 0014" from beginning to end, is correct.)

      Delete
    2. Runway is 150 feet wide. The controller who happened to be a CFI told him to use the rudder pedals to steer once on the ground. Not that hard. Like having an entire freeway to yourself.

      Delete
  26. Breaking: Juan Blancolirio says he believes it was hand flown all the way in based on ADSB data...

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    Replies
    1. It is quite obvious that the plane was hand flown all the way. Particularly based on the fact of the altitude changes since the event started.

      Delete
    2. No one could program the A/P to fly an approach without training, stupid to think that it was NOT hand flown, me smells a rat in all this....Look at the landing???

      Delete
  27. ADS-B touchdown at Groundspeed: 115 kt
    Baro. Altitude: ▼ 0 ft
    Geom. Altitude: 50 ft
    Vert. Rate: -704 ft/min
    Track:93.5°
    Pos.:26.683°, -80.108°

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    Replies
    1. That zero foot value is uncorrected 29.92 referenced baro.
      Local altimeter reference for use in correcting to true baro altitude:
      KPBI 101653Z 04006G15KT 10SM SCT049 SCT055 27/15 A3007
      KPBI 101553Z 02011G17KT 10SM SCT042 SCT046 26/15 A3009

      Delete
    2. "aircraft successfully landed at 4:37 p.m. local time" or 20:37Z

      Delete
    3. As noted in previous comments, the 4:37 PM EDT time is erroneous, due to incorrect conversion of the 16:37 Z ADS-B data landing time as shown in the track, here:

      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a3a1f2&lat=26.634&lon=-80.190&zoom=11.2&showTrace=2022-05-10&leg=3&trackLabels&timestamp=1652200296

      Delete
  28. That guy's got a stellar brain, the heart of a lion, and a set of big brass balls. The guy must be a reader of Douglas Adams, R.I.P., whose immortal line will forever be: "Don't Panic!"

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    Replies
    1. Yeah. Handflying a 208 for 40 minutes with no flying experience, communicating with ATC on the radio and cell phone descending turning and lining up with the runway. Even experience pilots landed a few times on a taxiway in Palm Beach but no this guy he makes a near perfect landing in gusty crosswind. Hmm...

      Delete
  29. Awesome. Log PIC, High Performance hours on my first flight. :)

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  30. Has anyone heard about the condition of the pilot? Ambulance evidently were called to take him to the hospital.

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    Replies
    1. FAA had reported the pilot's condition as stabilized. A commenter from Orlando posting to a news story and claiming to know the pilot said it was a stroke. There may not be any verifiable information coming on how the pilot is doing unless there is a reunion story later on after the pilot recovers.

      No info has come out about the third person aboard.

      Delete
    2. Whatever happened to the pilot, it appears the unnamed passenger was doing nothing to assess his condition or assist, and if he was, no credit has been given. Very odd story on myriad levels with far too many missing details. .

      Delete
    3. Nothing about the condition of the pilot from the moment "he felt bad and passed out"....NO communication on the ATC transcript regarding any efforts made to assess him, assist him, nothing like 911 does if someone calls with a medical emergency. Very very odd

      Delete
    4. And no ambulance was seen offloading the pilot's body from the plane.

      Delete
  31. A funny story, like the one that the earth is a flat disc!

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  32. ATP, CFI, MEI and recently retired Challenger 350 jet pilot with thousands of hours of flying experience weighing in. We all want to believe this was a miracle and not some stunt. However, there are some elements of this story that don’t add up from a technical and human factors standpoint. Having instructed and developed flight training curriculum for dozens of aircraft including factory training systems for high performance single engine turboprops (like the C208) and advanced avionics systems, I can attest to the very long odds that a passenger with no flight training or familiarity with any specific aircraft or avionics would have been able to succeed at landing this aircraft safely. In fact, most pilots without such familiarity (especially with the Garmin G1000 avionics) would be challenged. I remain wide open to the possibility that this was a miracle, but there are many inconsistencies in this story that need to be analyzed and explained.

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    Replies
    1. One overlooked inconsistency is the unspecified participation of the third person aboard. For those forty minutes after the pilot slumped, that third person could have been:
      A. Curled up in the fetal position.
      B. Quietly reading a book.
      C. Giving CPR to the ailing pilot.
      D. Taking an active role to help them survive.

      What is the most likely answer?

      It would spoil the miracle story and many will attack the suggestion (see Monkey, Banana and Water Spray story), but if the unknown third person had some pilot experience and would be disadvantaged by disclosure of identity and/or the nature of that participation, it would all make perfect sense.

      None of the above is offered to take anything away from controller Morgan's effort, but you would expect that the third person would make themselves available to, at minimum, jot down numbers using the pilot's knee board so that Mr. Harrison could stay focused on flying the plane.

      In the aftermath, a decent guy like Mr. Harrison seems to be would at least make mention to give credit for the third person's jotting down of info and/or attention by the third person to the needs of the ailing pilot in those 40 minutes until landing. The credit comment wouldn't have to name that third person.

      Now consider for a moment a scenario where the third person aboard has the controls and Mr. Harrison jots notes. The unknown third person would only have to insist: "You are going to have to tell them that you flew the plane, and don't breathe a word about me" to make it all make sense.

      Delete
    2. I tend to agree. I soled in 7 hours (was supposed to be 5 but my didn't have my student pilot/medical yet...my bad) after years of ground school from my Dad that was a WW2 Naval Primary flight instructor....in a C172, with no stress navigating, communicating, or an unconscious pilot by my side, a G1000 display, power condition lever, passenger to save, etc. A the Seinfeld episode about fake boobs said...."a bit too perfect".

      Delete
    3. You lay our a quite plausible scenario....also find it interesting that in all of that time, ATC Morgan didn't have to, or bother to explain how to use the toe brakes to stop the aircraft once on the runway, and Harrison made a call stating Im on the ground, how do I stop ? The absolute most simple part of the successful landing and he made the ATC call once on the ground to ask ? Meh....Like the Jetsons "Jane, stop this crazy thing"

      Delete
    4. Also...zero communication regarding the pilot...just "unresponsive" No exchange regarding if he was breathing, had a pulse, turning blue, was the passenger attempting CPR or any assessment of the pilot's condition. Was there a AED onboard the aircraft ? Just an unnamed pilot and passenger along for a 40 minute miracle ride.

      Delete
    5. "Flying is the second greatest challenge known to man, landing is the first."

      There's a whole, whole lot more to this story than is being told.

      Delete
    6. So what's the big conspiracy theory here? The passenger is not in any FAA database, so he definitely has zero flight experience. (The only thing that counts as experience is hours you can log in a logbook. Playing MS flight sim and watching youtube videos doesn't count as "experience".) That part of the story is true unless you think he invented a fake name. So are you people thinking the 3rd passenger was a rated pilot and helped out? That the stroked out pilot suddenly awoke for a minute and did the landing? Not sure what other possibility there is other than the story that's out there, unless you think it was aliens!

      Delete
    7. As if no possibility exists that the third guy was an Airline pilot who told his boss he was driving his mom to Aunt Marge's funeral in Wisconsin for a couple of days, now wanting to prevent that boss from finding out he was the third person on the C208 in this scenario, returning from time spent as safety pilot on a hop to the Bahamas and back.

      No way you'd let that Airline pilot pal of yours sit in the other seat as your safety pilot for an over water flight hauling your paying passenger.

      No way Mr. Harrison was initially reluctant to get drawn into the limelight because the Airline pilot had him take the credit, but the money offered to do the interview circuit was too good to hold off any longer.

      Pay no attention to the third person aboard, obscured under the privacy misdirection. It's a hoot, some people would believe that Toonces the flying cat landed the plane if that was what they were told.

      Delete
    8. Right, so the "third guy" sitting in the left seat was an experienced pilot, but he decided to risk every life on board to put invent some ruse where he let his noob buddy in the back work the radios, talk to ATC, and pretend to land the plane because he was afraid his boss would catch him in a lie? You guys have such great imaginations, but can't imagine that an untrained person could ever possibly be naturally good at something their first time. Can't let that fragile pilot ego get hurt if the public finds out what we do ain't that hard, can we!

      Delete
    9. Those of us who first had a yoke in our hands as youngsters in the right seat of Dad's plane know that there are aspects of this that don't make a lot of sense.

      Someone asked what other possibility could there be other than the story that's out there. A scenario was offered. Pretending that a reluctant to self-identify safety pilot caused risk of life isn't responsive to what was offered.

      Delete
    10. Those of us who are pilots know that the "reluctant pilot-rated 3rd passenger" scenario makes zero sense. The 2nd passenger struggled to find the transponder, tune the radio to a new frequency, and know where their location was, among other basic tasks. There is absolutely no reason why an experienced pilot-rated 3rd passenger would allow the 2nd passenger to flounder aimlessly for minutes with the basic tasks, wasting valuable flight time and radio time when the actual pilot had suffered a medical emergency and needed critical help as soon as possible. Even if the laughable "not wanting the boss to know" scenario was true, there is no possible reason why the 3rd passenger wouldn't help with those tasks and still maintain his anonymity especially since the second part of this "theory" is the pilot-rated 3rd passenger ends up actually doing the "harder" tasks like flying and landing the plane, but apparently not helping with the basic ones.

      Delete
    11. By figuring out that the pilot-rated 3rd passenger was actually doing the "harder" tasks like flying and landing the plane, you have also worked out why it was necessary to make it appear that he was not able to help with the basic ones.

      Delete
  33. Not a pilot, but I've spent plenty of time as a passenger on small air taxis. How is it a remotely good idea to have an untrained passenger/pilot fooling with calling on a cell phone for aviation instruction on a complex aircraft? Even on speakerphone, the noise in the cockpit would make communication sketchy at best, much less fumbling with the phone with one hand holding it to your ear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Three people on board. Someone dials, holds it to your ear.

      Delete
    2. Someone else dials, you have one bluetooth wireless earbud in.

      Delete
  34. "The hero passenger who miraculously landed a plane on his own has been identified as a 39-year-old Florida man armed with nothing but a pair of flip-flops and a background in interior design.

    The man, identified by family as Darren Harrison, was headed home to Lakeland after a fishing trip in the Bahamas". https://nypost.com/2022/05/12/floridas-darren-harrison-named-as-hero-who-landed-plane-solo/

    ReplyDelete
  35. It’s just a Caravan, it’s like a big 172 albeit with a more complex engine. I mean come on, I bet I could get it on the ground, it’s known for docile handling. Would love to take the controls of one of those SUVs of the sky, take it to a long grass strip.

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    Replies
    1. Hardy the point. No mention what happened to the pilot or his current condition. No mention of what the nameless passenger was doing for 40 minutes...CPR, communication with 911 regarding the pilots condition....something very wrong with this story.

      Delete
    2. Maybe the other guy wanted to avoid the spotlight and turned down all requests for interviews and his name to be released. And maybe (*gasp*) the media respected that request? The 3rd passenger wasn't cut out to deal with this emergency, so maybe he also wasn't cut out for fame and attention. With some of the clowns on his site tearing into the 1st passenger, I wouldn't want my name in the media either.

      Delete
    3. Yeah....and the earth is flat.....why NO communication about the pilot's condition for 40 minutes while the "hero pilot" pled ignorance on ever aspect of flight.

      Delete
    4. Didn't the Today show video on YT include Harrison saying that the ambulance crew didn't expect the ailing pilot to survive, AND he is being released from the hospital on Monday? As in Monday 16 May?

      Delete
    5. Yep.....far too many wanky "facts" in and not in evidence. The scenario has more holes than swiss chess but it seems most want to debate if the zero time hero was capable of the "miracle landing". Hardy the issue.

      Delete
  36. Mainstream media “NBC” seems to be in love with this story. With all the news in the world this landing was the first topic this morning on the “Today Show”. Still no mention of the other passenger or the pilot.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly.....this guy is doing a media tour of grand proportion....more attention and interviews than Sully got after saving over a hundred lives. Something stinks about this entire scenario.

      Delete
    2. Exactly.....this guy is doing a media tour of grand proportion....more attention and interviews than Sully got after saving over a hundred lives. Something stinks about this entire scenario.

      Delete
    3. Imagine that you are a journalist and the first line of the FAA blog post about a remarkable happening states:

      "At noon EDT on Tuesday, May 10, the pilot of a Cessna 208 flying to Florida from the Bahamas told his two passengers he wasn’t feeling well."

      Wouldn't you inquire about what that third person did?

      Meanwhile, the erroneous 4:37 EDT landing time originally stated in the FAA blog post has since been updated to an almost true time for the ADS-B documented 12:37 EDT landing:

      "The aircraft successfully landed at 12:27 p.m. local time. First responders were there to assist with the original pilot. Neither passenger had any injuries."

      The "two passenger" references at the opening line and the "landed at" line have not been changed from the original FAA post to show just one passenger, so the mystery third person was not a mistake, or the update to change the landing time would have also changed the obvious "three aboard" circumstances to show only two aboard.

      We live in a clown world. Before long we may see a "mostly false" fact check applied to any suggestion that the FAA's story included a third person aboard the C208.

      The FAA blog post:
      https://medium.com/faa/miracle-in-the-air-air-traffic-controllers-guide-passenger-to-land-plane-safely-27362004f07c

      Delete
  37. The today show video includes a still photo at 0:57 looking forward at two men in the front wearing headsets, see video link below.

    The hero pilot says the third person sitting up front at the dual controls of the other seat in that photo is the pilot's friend. The hero pilot also says he reached around the still seated pilot to grab the yoke and pull them out of the dive.

    C'mon, people - the pilot's friend flies with him in the front seat with a headset on but sits with his arms folded while the plane goes into a dive, requiring a passenger from the back to go forward and grab the controls?

    Link to the Today show video (The hosts in the after banter mention "more in the third hour" about couldn't make the flaps work...):
    https://youtu.be/qbMoyWukjbs

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    Replies
    1. Yep....far too many gaps in this ludicrous hero story....he has done more interviews to get his face on national media than Sully did. Odd that Savanah and not Tom Costello, the "aviation expert" is doing the interviews....NBC wants rating, not a deep dive (pun intended) into the obvious holes in this tale of heroism

      Delete
  38. A couple people noted the mysterious second passenger, but I have not heard anything about or from him except that he was a friend of the pilot. From an interview on TV this morning, Mr. Harrison shared a picture from the back-seat showing the back of the pilot and second mystery passenger/pilot friend in the right seat. If the plane started diving, shouldnt the passenger strapped into the right seat have started pulling out instead of completely ignoring a rapid descent towards death and relying on the back seat passenger to come to the front, reach over the incapacitated pilot, and pull the plane out of the dive? It seems like the mystery passenger in the right seat did absolutely nothing from all the reports, yet he was in the best position to at least start the recovery and aid Mr. Harrison. Where is his story and 15 minutes of fame? Why is he not even being mentioned as assisting in the miracle landing, and why is his role in the final minutes of the flight not being reported? Just odd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is the Professional Media™ showing everyone who understands that disinformation is their game how brazenly false of a story they can put out and get away with.

      They are laughing at everyone...

      Delete
    2. "shouldnt the passenger strapped into the right seat have started pulling out instead of completely ignoring a rapid descent towards death"

      I don't think you understand human psychology. Some people (even trained pilots) freeze up when facing a life or death situation. I'm sure he wasn't completely ignoring the rapid descent towards death, rather he was frozen in fear because of it and had no idea what to do to fix things. The guy in the back had the wherewithal to actually spring into action. Not everyone is calm under pressure.

      "Where is his story and 15 minutes of fame? Why is he not even being mentioned as assisting in the miracle landing, and why is his role in the final minutes of the flight not being reported?"

      Because he froze up and didn't do crap. The best thing he did was get out of that seat, get out of the way, and let the person who wasn't panic-stricken take over.

      Delete
    3. If he was so frozen how did he get out of the seat? On today show the flying passenger stated that he told the other passenger to pull the trotlle all the way back, so what seat was he in ? And he was so frozen the whole time but totally defrosted just before touch fown...

      Delete
    4. Beyond....once the FAA pokes its curious nose into this fairy tale, perhaps some facts will come out. Look at the entire ATC transcript....the pilot has "gone unconscious"....that is the last reference to his condition...911 operators ask question....are they breathing, do they have a pulse, as they turning blue, do you know CPR, is the an AED onboard. Nah.....pilot passed out...hero non pilot saves the day and details regarding the pilot are still not extant, but it seems NBC has tossed "investigative journalism" to the curb for a story most non-pilots will find warm and fuzzy and the rating will grown....grill him about the face, and the non-flying, uneducated public will turn on you.

      Delete
  39. looking at that still photo from the today show, how did he get into a pilot seat? Did the guy (pilot's friend) in seat #2 move out and let him take over? Did he take the pilot out of his seat and then take the #1 seat? If so, how?

    The more i learn the more I think something smells fishier than the fish he was catching

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  40. Mr. Harrison stated, in The Today Show interview (upon rushing into the flight deck) that the aircraft was in a steep dive to the right and that he could see the ocean below through the right window. He then reached around both sides of the upright and unconscious pilot, grabbed the controls and gently pulled the aircraft out of the dive ... knowing that pulling the controls too far back would, "cause the aircraft to stall."

    If Harrison had zero flight experience, then how did he know about stalls, and even using the terminology, "STALL." Further, there is no mention from Harrison that while "gently pulling back on the controls" he also corrected for the right banking of the aircraft with a left input on the yoke.

    Then, while the right seat passenger friend of the pilot was supposedly frozen in panic mode, Harrison pulled the unconscious pilot from his seat with the help of the right seat passenger and were able to get the pilot onto the floor of the front cabin area. No mention of how he un-buckled the pilots' seat and shoulder harness - if in fact the pilot was even wearing those restraints.

    So, while all of these efforts were being played out to extract the pilot, how were the flight controls maintained for level flight until Harrison was able to get into the pilot's seat?

    So many unanswered questions ... not just these. I am not implying that this incident was a staged hoax, yet we've been led through two media shows - including The Today Show interview - not to mention all the usual media hype and drama, with all the important details being waxed over.

    I have considerable time in many Cessna types with High-Performance and Complex ratings. No, I have not flown the C208 Caravan, but do know that if I had been on that flight as a passenger, my getting this aircraft on the ground would have been demanding to say the least.

    This post marks the 131st post to KR. With all the many unanswered questions posted there needs to be a formal investigation once and for all. Harrison, the right seat pilot's friend, and the pilot who is being released from the hospital needs some more explaining to do. The public needs to know. The aviating community especially needs to know.





    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Copious outrage text™ about discussing "stall" didn't address that commenter's question about who flew the plane while the ailing pilot was dragged between the front seats on the way to the back.

      Most of us have seen coins produced from a kids ear during a magic act. Imagine the public reaction if that kid did the morning show circuit claiming that his ear produced coins even when the magician wasn't present.

      Delete
  41. Y'all miss the part where he said he's thought about what would happen if a pilot got incapacitated? It appears he's spent more than a few hours in GA aircraft and has probably asked the pilots about a lot of things. And .....OOOOOOH, he knew the word stall...no non-pilot could possibly know that without the secret decoder ring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is to be expected that there would be curiosity as to the background of the third person. Not knowing his background muddies the water.

      Adding pejorative references of troll, lonely, echo chamber, insane, ridiculous, denier, conspiracy theory doesn't fill in the missing information that would get everyone on the same page.

      Delete
    2. Agreed....pilot wasnt drugged....but "hero pilot" looks and acts arrogant and has no issue doing the national media tour to brag about how "he couldnt panic" because of his family situation. He is loving every minute of the attention and far more arrogant than Sully, who actually saved myriad lives and never considered himself a hero....Harrison is loving the moniker and happy to sit for interviews and photo opp while never mentioning the 2nd passenger and the media is soft-peddling any questions that could actually begin to reveal the truth.

      Delete
  42. Today Show is at it again....now the "miraculous recovery" of the pilot that suffered a "cardiac event" and the hospital just happened to have the high level of care required to assess and treat the pilot and release him the next day. Doc quoted as as saying when pilot "woke up" his first question was "when can I go home" also claiming half the patients that suffer a similar "event" die within 24 hours. Seems pilot and 2nd pax still have no names and the pilot now has no medical (one would assume but this story is so insane, assumptions are invalid).

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    Replies
    1. Totally agree. To many miracles. Guy with no experience lands a turbine plane perfectly on a centerline, before that perfect recovery from unusual attitude while removing a incapacitated pilot from seat but doesn't know how to use a headset in. Miraculous recovery of a pilot suffering catastrophic cardiac event yet it took minimum an hour to get him to the hospital but he is home now. The other passenger doesn't say a word at all that could be classified as another miracle..

      Delete
  43. At 16:11, HP (hero pilot) states "I have no idea how to stop the airplane..I have no idea how to do anything" ATC doesnt respond...."we will get to that later but it has toe brake on the top of the rudder pedals" At 20:00 ATC asked if the pilot is unconscious 10 minutes after the initial contact...response was "muffled" At 21:21 in the ATC transcript, ATC asks "can you tell me how many personnel (odd term) are on the aircraft with you" ? Hero pilot replies "I dont know". Way too many inconsistencies IMHO as a PP with 38 years experience with multi and instrument ratings.

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    1. Just wondering if they cleared customs. They came in from the Bahamas. Hero passenger or not I believe they still should have go thru customs and the plane should have been inspected....

      Delete
    2. Fishing trip. The ill pilot's instagram shows the plane on floats for previous fishing trips in the islands, including a video while reeling one in. Doesn't look like a smuggler's M.O.

      Delete
  44. It's good to see news that the pilot is resting at home after surgery got him patched up. Lots of medical expertise available at hospitals near PBI was a benefit.

    ReplyDelete
  45. At seven statute miles from the runway pavement, passing over Seminole Palms Park, the aircraft's track was offset about 900 feet. It isn't true that the aircraft's track is overshot by a couple of thousand feet in the turn to the final.

    A person at the controls who hasn't been acclimated to the C208 control input/response dynamic would be expected to produce damped sinusoidal heading deviations that would be seen in the ADS-B track.

    No surprise that people question the details.

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    Replies
    1. "damped sinusoidal heading deviations"... spoken like someone with a bunch of book learning and zero real world experience with teaching new pilots. As someone with 25 years experience as a CFI and many hours in the 208, and I can tell you there is no typical "expected response" from someone's first time doing it. It can be all the way from chaos to a track so straight, I need to check if the autopilot got activated. People aren't cookie cutter robots, everyone reacts differently and some are pretty damn good at it straight out of the gate, much to the chagrin of those who struggle at it.

      Delete
    2. It's not an advanced concept to understanding that over correction on the controls get smaller as the person gets a feel for the relationship, or that the name for that is damped sinusoidal response. Can't actually be a CFI for very long (if at all) and still think that a new pilot executing turns can't be expected to deviate both sides of track during the first 30 minutes of ever taking the controls, especially in gusting crosswind.

      Delete
  46. The question for me is not that he landed a plane but how he did it with such precision. He flew a nice approach, landed a heavy turboprop with no flaps, and in a crosswind, he asked, “you want me to turn off on the taxiway?” Come to find out, he’s buddies with the guy who owns the airplane, so while he may not be a licensed pilot, he’s apparently been in that airplane many times before for several fishing trips. He also pointed out, in an interview, that he’s thought about what would happen if the pilot passed out. He said he’s thought about this many times. He probably got a little bit of instruction during one of his previous flights. He was perhaps allowed to maneuver the airplane and likely allowed to steer it on the ground a few times to let him get a feel of what it’d be like if he had to fly it. I let just about all of my passengers steer the plane around on the ground and fly it a bit while we’re in the air. This guy has probably experienced the same thing. Glad he got on the ground safe.

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  47. I like to think that I can do something if I put my mind to it.
    But I learned the truth this week.
    When I read this story about the passenger in a private airplane, who landed the plane himself after the pilot collapsed.
    No.
    Just no.
    There are so many things I couldn’t have done I don’t even know where to begin.
    Start with the fact that after the pilot passes out, the passenger radios for help.
    My first reaction would be to panic, then scream.
    My second reaction would be to scream, then panic.
    This would be me: AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH NOOO PLEASE GOD!!!!!!!
    But I would use profanity.
    I kept it clean for your benefit.
    And I’d run out of capitals.
    I would use every capital.
    Then I would run out of profanity.
    No way am I reaching for the radio.
    I couldn’t even begin to use that radio.
    I’m still trying to figure out the dashboard in my car.
    I never use my navigation system because it’s too complicated. I managed to set Home as a Favorite Location but plugged in the wrong house number and couldn’t change it, so my Home is my neighbor’s house.
    Luckily, I know my house, so when the navigation system directs me to my neighbor’s house, I just drive next door all by myself.
    What a big girl!
    I even have trouble with the presets on Sirius XM. Sometimes they’re there, and sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they make me listen to Preview, which is an endless commercial for Sirius, to which I already subscribe.
    I can’t explain any of this.
    I don’t even try.
    I just do without Classic Rewind.
    Those are my kind of stakes.
    Save-your-life-at-30,000 feet are not.
    How much do I like Steely Dan?
    A lot.
    Enough to press the Forward button 85 times?
    No.
    I just sing Steely Dan.
    I know all the words.
    Big girl!
    To return to point, according to the story, the passenger radioed the air traffic controller for help, and the air traffic controller told the passenger how to use the transponder so the aircraft could be found on radar.
    Wait, what?
    Transponders are real?
    The only thing I know about transponders is that Ashton Kutcher was looking for one in Dude, Where’s My Car?
    I love that movie.
    Is this, Dude, Where’s My Plane?
    Reportedly the air traffic controller then told the passenger to descend 5,000 feet.
    Can you imagine hearing that?
    I can’t.
    I don’t want to be 5,000 feet above anything.
    I don’t even want to stand on a ladder.
    I pay somebody to clean my gutters.
    A footstool, I can handle.
    I’m all over footstools.
    Then the air traffic controller told the passenger, “Maintain wings level and just try to follow the coast, either north or southbound.”
    How do you keep your wings level?
    I can’t even walk across the room with a cup of tea and not spill some.
    Truly, I do not allow myself to drink tea in my family room because the rug has so many tea stains.
    At this point, I’d rather tell people it’s dog pee.
    It’s less embarrassing.
    And how about follow the coast for directions?
    Wow.
    When I stop for directions, I never remember what they said.
    “Follow the coastline,” I might remember.
    But it’s one thing to follow a map, and another to follow a globe.
    By the way, the report clarified that the passenger had no prior flight experience.
    I can’t imagine being that cool without having prior flight experience.
    My only prior flight experience is divorce.
    I love all stories about flying.
    And I watch from my chair.
    On the ground.
    Without tea.

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    1. OMFG!!!!! Thanks for making my evening

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  48. Ok, I have no flying experience.....I think I'm ready for the aircraft carrier

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  49. As a pilot, I absolutely believe that an air traffic controller who is also a flight instructor could provide directions to a non-pilot to land a General Aviation airplane. The airplane might not fly again, but the occupants could survive. However, there's a few questions I assumed would have been asked of Darren Harrison: 1) Who is the pilot's friend in the co-pilot seat? What is his aviation experience? And what did he do to help during the ordeal? 2) How did Darren get the incapacitated pilot out of the pilot's seat to the passenger area? 3) Why did Darren ask for the co-pilot's headset instead of grabbing the one he was wearing in the cabin or the other one in the seat behind the pilot's seat? 4) How did the navigation system get turned off? It was on when Darren snapped the photo of the cockpit. 5) Was the autopilot engaged when the pilot became incoherent? And did that disengage when when the navigation system was turned off?

    There's other inconsistencies that many of you have posted. One that struck me as odd was that Darren said in the interview on NBC that the pilot was not slumped over, but was sitting upright in the seat and not responding. The flight profile on FlightAware did, in deed, show the airplane descended rapidly and the earlier reports attributed the dive to the pilot slumped over the controls.

    I'm hoping there are plausible answers to these questions and everyone wants this story to be true, but my pilot friends and I are all scratching our heads.

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    1. Small details matter. What might explain the dive if no slump of the pilot, since the plane should continue on as currently trimmed for the applied power setting?

      The headset cord wasn't shredded before the pilot became ill. He couldn't have been using the headset if the wires had pulled out before he fell ill.

      Lack of clear detail about whether the ailing pilot remained in the left front seat all the way thru landing or was moved to the back impacts the possible scenarios.

      If the pilot WAS moved to the back, something as simple as getting caught up in the headset cord and pulling the throttle back during the dragging would explain the dive.

      That headset didn't shred itself.

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    2. I agree! The small details do matter. But Darren stated in the interview that the pilot was sitting upright after he became incoherent. That's another inconsistency because, if the pilot slumped over the yoke, that could certainly explain why the airplane went into a dive...assuming the autopilot wasn't engaged. Or, as you say, perhaps they reduced the power setting while dragging the pilot from the pilot's seat to the back of the airplane...which could also explain how the headset jacks became frayed. I'd just like to start with who is the pilot's friend that was sitting in the co-pilot's seat and what's his aviation experience.

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