Mark Robertson

Mark Robertson

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The passenger who safely landed a plane when pilot passed out speaks out

private airplane Cessna 182 flying in clear blue sky

Photo: Getty Images

Darren Harrison speaks out about the heroic moment he landed a plane despite not having any flight experience after the pilot fell unconscious from a medical emergency. Harrison describes his determination to survive for his wife and unborn child, and recalls thinking “I can’t die today. Today is not my day.”

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.

Darren hasn't spoken out about this incident...until now. Very powerful:

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