Passenger lands plane after pilot dies in mid-air

  • #1
Ivan Seeking
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Main Question or Discussion Point

..."I need help. I need a King Air pilot to talk to. We're in trouble," he radioed.

Then he turned to his wife and two daughters: "You all start praying hard."

Mr White tried to stay calm and listen to the air traffic controllers as they relayed instructions.

"It was a focused fear," he said. "And I was in some kind of a zone that I can't explain."

Flying by hand, he navigated the plane through the descent.

"When I touch down, if I ever touch down, do I just kill the throttle or what?" he asked...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/5150782/Passenger-lands-plane-after-pilot-dies-in-mid-air.html
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Evo
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Oh good grief, he has a pilot's license! Not exactly an untrained "passenger".
 
  • #3
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Do I kill the throttle? What a stupid question for a pilot to ask.
 
  • #4
russ_watters
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Sounds like he shouldn't have a pilot's license....
 
  • #5
Ivan Seeking
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I think it's fair to say that he didn't feel qualified to land the plane.

Evo, how could I possibly pass on that title? :biggrin:
 
  • #6
turbo
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OMG! This plane has too many engines! What do I do?
 
  • #7
chemisttree
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What do you do?? You fly it by hand Mr. White(as-a-sheet)!
 
  • #8
Ivan Seeking
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Heck, according to my flight simulator, I can land a 747 at our local private airport. No big deal.
 
  • #9
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how did they realize the pilot died when the plane went on auto-pilot?
 
  • #10
Evo
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Heck, according to my flight simulator, I can land a 747 at our local private airport. No big deal.
:rofl:

Did you know that in the 90's, a flight simulator was hidden in excel as an easter egg?

Just another tidbit of useless knowledge.
 
  • #11
Chi Meson
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:rofl:

Did you know that in the 90's, a flight simulator was hidden in excel as an easter egg?

Just another tidbit of useless knowledge.
I played that simulator. It was Excel 97 I think. You flew around this boring moonscape until you came across this low-angle screen that scrolled the names of all the developers. It wasn't exactly enough to learn how to actually fly.
 
  • #12
Danger
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I agree that this sounds a bit weird. My only official training was on 150's, 152's and 172's, but I know damned well that I could handle a King Air. In any normal circumstances, there's no difference between the procedures. Just use the trottle, mixture and pitch controls symmetrically and it's fine. The necessity for a twin rating is primarily in the event of an engine failure, which results in asymmetrical thrust. In fact, the Mixmaster (Cessna Skymaster) doesn't require that rating because it's a centreline-thrust twin; one puller and one pusher prop on the same axis.
All of the basic flight and landing procedures are the same, until you get into jet territory or taildraggers.
 
  • #13
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I agree that this sounds a bit weird. My only official training was on 150's, 152's and 172's, but I know damned well that I could handle a King Air. In any normal circumstances, there's no difference between the procedures. Just use the trottle, mixture and pitch controls symmetrically and it's fine. The necessity for a twin rating is primarily in the event of an engine failure, which results in asymmetrical thrust. In fact, the Mixmaster (Cessna Skymaster) doesn't require that rating because it's a centreline-thrust twin; one puller and one pusher prop on the same axis.
All of the basic flight and landing procedures are the same, until you get into jet territory or taildraggers.
Technically, a king air is a jet since it has turbo props.
 
  • #14
Danger
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Technically, a king air is a jet since it has turbo props.
True, Cyrus, but the flight procedures are still more in line with a piston craft than something like a Lear Jet. For someone as close to an airport as this bloke was, things like temperature constaints, inlet pressure, etc. don't really become critical. Your rpm's can be way off, and still get you back to the runway.

edit: I'm going by the phrase 'just enjoyed a smooth takeoff' from the article. That implies to me that they weren't more than a couple of minutes out. That might be in error.
 
  • #15
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True, Cyrus, but the flight procedures are still more in line with a piston craft than something like a Lear Jet. For someone as close to an airport as this bloke was, things like temperature constaints, inlet pressure, etc. don't really become critical. Your rpm's can be way off, and still get you back to the runway.

edit: I'm going by the phrase 'just experienced a smooth takeoff' from the article. That implies to me that they weren't more than a couple of minutes out. That might be in error.
The only thing he has to be careful about is shutting the engines down so that he doesnt totally destroy them and melt the compressor blades. If he was able to land it safely, he shouldn't just kill them - at least I don't think so. I don't fly turboprop so I don't know the exact procedures. Melting the blades would be a several million dollar oops.
 
  • #16
Danger
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I don't fly turboprop so I don't know the exact procedures. Melting the blades would be a several million dollar oops.
Roger that. As a passenger, though, I'd just be concerned with getting the thing down and stopped in one piece and not give a damn as to whether or not the engines survived. Anything within glide distance of a flat surface is good enough.
 
  • #17
russ_watters
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OMG! This plane has too many engines! What do I do?
Just do what you do if it had one: throttle one engine and leave the other one alone!
 
  • #18
turbo
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Just do what you do if it had one: throttle one engine and leave the other one alone!
Despite the lack of a smilie, I'm sure you're joking. I have never been inside a King Air, but having ridden in a lot of other twin-engine turboprops, I have to assume KA's throttles are paired and can be and should be, adjusted in unison.
 
  • #19
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Despite the lack of a smilie, I'm sure you're joking. I have never been inside a King Air, but having ridden in a lot of other twin-engine turboprops, I have to assume KA's throttles are paired and can be and should be, adjusted in unison.
............uh, yeah. It was a joke. :uhh:
 
  • #20
Danger
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............uh, yeah. It was a joke. :uhh:
You never know. Maybe Russ is used to flying Frisbees. :biggrin:
 

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