In what some are calling an Easter miracle, several members of the Air Traffic Controllers (NATCA) in Southern Florida guided a plane to a successful landing after its pilot fell unconscious and a passenger had to fly the aircraft in heavy traffic. Around 1:30 p.m. yesterday, passengers aboard a Super King Air two-engine turboprop aircraft carrying four passengers from Marco Island, Fla., to Jackson, Miss., radioed controllers at the Miami traffic control center that the pilot was unconscious and they needed help immediately. Two controllers, one with extensive experience as a pilot, helped one of the passengers bring the plane in. The passenger is a private pilot but is certified only in single-engine aircraft and had never flown a King Air. While the two controllers talked the passenger through flying the plane, a third controller stepped in to coordinate the rerouting of all aircraft in that area and transmitted emergency information to the nearest airport in Fort Myers, Fla. continue reading

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