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Florida passenger who successfully lands plane in Palm Beach identified as Darren Harrison

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The passenger with no flying experience who successfully landed a Cessna 208 Caravan on Tuesday afternoon with the assistance of Air Traffic Control in Florida has been identified.

Darren Harrison of Lakeland, Florida, has been identified as the passenger who successfully landed the plane at Palm Beach International Airport, according to WFLA. The Cessna 208 Caravan was coming back to Florida from the Bahamas.

Harrison told Air Traffic Control on Tuesday afternoon that he had a “serious situation” after the plane’s pilot went incoherent.

PASSENGER LANDS PLANE IN FLORIDA’S PALM BEACH AFTER PILOT HAS MEDICAL EMERGENCY

Robert Morgan (left) and Darren Harrison (right)

Robert Morgan (left) and Darren Harrison (right)
(FAA)

“I’ve got a serious situation here. My pilot has gone incoherent. I have no idea how to fly the airplane,” the unnamed passenger calmly radioed Air Traffic Controllers from inside the single-engine aircraft, WPBF-TV reported. 

When the Fort Pierce Air Traffic Controller asked for the plane’s position, Harrison answered that he had “no idea.”

“I have no idea. I can see the coast of Florida in front of me, and I have no idea,” Harrison said.

While the Air Traffic Controller attempted to locate the plane, Harrison was told to “maintain wings level and try to follow the coast, either north or southbound.”

Four minutes went by, and the passenger asked the Air Traffic Controller if they have located his plane yet.

FLIGHT GROUNDED IN ISRAEL AFTER PASSENGERS RECEIVE PHOTOS OF CRASHED PLANES BEFORE TAKEOFF 

Air Traffic Manager Ryan Warren (left) and controller Robert Morgan (center) show Harrison (far right) printouts of the Cessna 208 flight deck that was used to help him land the plane safely.

Air Traffic Manager Ryan Warren (left) and controller Robert Morgan (center) show Harrison (far right) printouts of the Cessna 208 flight deck that was used to help him land the plane safely.
(FAA)

“Have you guys located me yet?” Harrison asked. “I can’t even get my nav screen to turn on. It has all the information on it. You guys have any ideas on that?”

Air Traffic Control was then able to locate the plane, which was off the coast of Boca Raton.

The Air Traffic Control at Palm Beach International Airport took over in order to communicate with Harrison better and guide him to make the landing.

Robert Morgan, an air traffic controller with 20 years of experience took over and helped Harrison to make the landing.

“Kudos to the new pilot,” one controller said after Harrison made the landing.

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“You just witnessed a couple passengers land that plane,” a controller said to other pilots over the radio.

“Did you say the passengers landed the plane?,” one commercial pilot responded. “Oh, my gosh. Great job.”

In a video released by the FAA, Morgan said it felt like he was in a movie.

“We’ve never had anything like that,” Morgan said. “I felt like I was in a movie.”

The pilot was taken to a local hospital and his condition is stabilizing, according to a report.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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