Air Traffic Controller Helps Passenger Land after Pilot is Incapacitated

Air traffic controller signaling

Photo: Getty Images

Robert Morgan is the air traffic controller who on Tuesday helped a passenger with no knowledge of flying to land a plane when the pilot had a medical emergency.

Morgan — a certified flight instructor working at the Palm Beach air traffic facility — spoke out about the headline-making incident, revealing that despite the heightened nature of the experience, it was ultimately business as usual.

"At the end of the day, I feel like I was just doing my job," Morgan said. "But it was just on a higher level than you ever thought you had to do it." Morgan was on his break when lead air traffic controller Gregory Battani called, asking for his expertise. The pilot of a single engine Cessna flying to the Bahamas from Florida told his two passengers on board that he was feeling ill before passing out, falling against the controls and "putting the aircraft into a nosedive and sharp turn," according to the FAA.

The passenger, Darren Harrison, climbed into the front seat of the plane, removed the pilot, and helped steady the aircraft. He then radioed Fort Pierce Tower at Treasure Coast International Airport in Fort Pierce, Florida, to let controllers know the pilot was incapacitated and that he had no flying experience. Here's more....

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