An Insider's Guide to Travel: News, Tips, Information & Inspiration

Airlines & Airports / Plane Crashes

Air Passenger Lands Plane Safely After Pilot Dies In Flight

Share on: Share on Google+

Plane on tarmac, not a BeechcraftFive lives were saved Sunday when a passenger took over a twin-engine turboprop plane at a Fort Meyers, Florida airport after the pilot died in flight.

The Beechcraft King Air 55 was climbing up to 10,000 feet when the pilot passed out and died from a heart attack.

The passenger, whose name has not yet been released, is a licensed pilot with 20 years of experience but had never flown a King Air plane.

He was guided by local air traffic controllers—one of whom called friend in Connecticut who was familiar with the plane.

The team talked the passenger through the process of disengaging the autopilot and landing safely at the Southwest Florida International Airport.

The plane had been traveling from Marco Island, Florida to Jackson, Mississippi.

Related links: Associated Press, The News-Press (Florida), CBS-4

By Sarika Chawla for

Read more about aviation safety in our Travel Safety & Security category.

Read more about air travel in our Airlines & Airports section.