Teenager takes over controls of plane after pilot collapses during flight over rural Australia
The single-engine Cessna 150 was only 10 minutes into a flight from the town of Forbes yesterday afternoon when the pilot lost consciousness
A teenager was forced to take over the controls of a plane for more than half an hour on Saturday afternoon when the pilot passed out during a flight over rural Australia.
Troy Jenkins, 19, had to fly the plane around in circles for 45 minutes at a small airport in Forbes, New South Wales, because he didn’t know how to land the single-engine Cessna 150 on his own.
The pilot, 61-year-old family friend Derek Neville, lost consciousness just 10 minutes into the recreational flight. Mr Jenkins said he had taken over the controls in the past while flying with Mr Neville, but that he had only landed the plane once before – and that was under the older man’s direct supervision.
“Keeping it up wasn't a problem, it was the landing part I wasn't sure of,” Mr Jenkins told The Associated Press. “I was pretty scared.”
“I thought I had to save myself and him. It was quite an experience,” he said.
The teenager was able to keep the plane at a steady altitude of 2,000 feet (610 metres), before Mr Neville finally came to.
“He sort of poked me in the right direction and we both brought it down,” Mr Jenkins said. They landed safely.
The 19-year-old also explained how grateful he was to pilot Paul Reynolds, who responded to his SOS radio calls and came to the rescue. Mr Reynolds flew his own plane alongside the Cessna and provided instructions over the radio.
“I just heard on the radio someone calling: 'Help, help,'” Mr Reynolds told the Nine Network TV station.
“What I got him to do was essentially just maintain that altitude and fly around the airfield,” he added.
After the landing, Mr Neville was flown to Orange Base Hospital, where he was being treated on Sunday.
His wife Merle Neville said he had undergone heart and brain scans, but doctors had yet to diagnose the problem.
“We've had a good outcome,” she said, referring to the successful landing.
Police Detective Sergeant Steve Howard said the air emergency could have resulted in tragedy if the pilot had not regained consciousness when he did.
“I do believe the passenger had some prior experience in the plane and had landed the plane with some assistance in the past, but we were just very fortunate that the pilot did come to,” Sgt Howard told ABC News.
Air safety investigators plan to interview both the pilot and passenger on Tuesday, Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman Stuart Godley said.
Additional reporting by AP
- 1 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
- < Previous
- Next >
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...
£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...