A two-person plane in England landed at an airport yesterday. What makes that remarkable? It was piloted by a passenger who had no experience flying an aircraft. Yeah, try that one on for size.
When the tiny plane's captain became too ill to fly the plane, the passenger stepped up to the controls. With the assistance via radio of two flight instructors, he rallied and was able to bring the plane back down to earth. White-knuckle flight much?
Though emergency services had been called and were on standby, the plane's landing caused no causalities. In fact, other than a bit of a rough moment touching down on the tarmac, most were in awe of the passenger -- and rightly so! Sadly, the ill pilot, who was transported to the hospital, later died. An inquest into the cause of his death has been opened.
I have a terrible fear of flying. It's not just the idea that I'm up very, very high in the sky and could thus fall, very, very far to the ground that does it. I mean, that's a big part of it, sure. But the bigger part involves my control freak nature. I don't like putting my trust in anyone else. On a plane, you do just that. I have a hard time with the idea of putting my life literally in someone's hands.
This is true getting on a bus or train too, but the heightened conditions of flying really underline the issue. Because I can't fly a plane. I don't have the skills necessary. Nor do most of us! I can't imagine what was going through this passenger-hero's head. All I know is that if I were in the same position, it would probably involve a lot of screaming and fainting.
Do you think you could ever be that brave in a plane?
Image via Erik Isakson/Corbis