Australian trainee pilot lands plane after instructor passes out

Posted at 10:15 PM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 00:15:43-04

Piloting a plane as it soars above the clouds is a dream for many people, but it quickly turned into the stuff of nightmares for one man in Australia.

When his instructor blacked out, student pilot Max Sylvester was left in sole charge of a small aircraft, and he eventually had to land by himself in what was his first lesson in that kind of plane, according to CNN affiliate 9 News.

After making a distress call, Sylvester managed to make a perfect landing with assistance from air traffic controllers.

“Do you know how to operate the aeroplane?” the operator can be heard asking in an audio recording of the call.

“This is my first lesson,” replied Sylvester.

In a remarkably calm exchange, air traffic controllers inquired repeatedly about the instructor, only to be told he was not responding

“Your job right now is just to keep focusing on that aircraft,” said the controller, before telling Sylvester he was “doing an amazing job.”

“Well, my flight instructor did say I was the best student he’d had,” said Sylvester.

That confidence was backed up by a perfect landing in front of dozens of onlookers who had gathered at the airfield, according to 9 News.

The incident took place on Saturday evening local time at Jandakot Airport, south of the city of Perth in Western Australia.

The instructor was taken to a local hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition after reportedly experiencing a seizure, according to 9 News.