Passenger Lands Plane

Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2009-  A Beech King Air B200 departed Marco Island, Florida bound for Louisiana with 5 souls on board. Soon after takeoff, an emergency situation developed that required extraordinary measures by the planes passengers and Air TrafficSaving four lives.   A passenger, Doug White  landed a twin-engine plane at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers after the pilot died in flight.


White, 56, a private pilot with about 230 hours flight time in single-engine Cessna 172s sat in the right seat of a chartered King Air 200 with his wife and two teenaged daughters in the passenger cabin. White, owner of an equipment leasing company, had learned to fly in 1991 but set flying aside immediately after obtaining a private pilot certificate.

Federal Aviation Administration officials said the pilot died on Sunday after taking off from Marco Island Executive Airport. The plane was on autopilot and climbing past 10,000 feet when the pilot died. The passenger who took the controls has been licensed for single-engine planes for 20 years, but was not certified to fly the King Air plane, a large luxury model. To instruct him, an air traffic controller called a friend in Connecticut who is rated to fly the aircraft. The plane landed safely.

Controller: You using the autopilot or are you flying the airplane?
9DW: Me and the Good Lord are hand flying this. Niner Delta Whiskey.



Oh HELL YES!! The next guy that calls this Hero a redneck gets one in the kisser.

RIP Colonel Cabuk (USAF-ret)


5 thoughts on “Passenger Lands Plane

  1. Don’t know if you’ve run through it, but I was emailed the audio links between Niner Delta Whisky and the Center, as well as NDW and Ft Myers Approach Control. Would love to buy them all a drink; they worked together so very well, and thank God for that! In your blog, you make a comment that suggests some idiot called the pilot a red neck? Takes some nerve doesn’t it. Here are the links if you’re interested:

    Center/Niner Whiskey Delta

    Ft Myers Approach Control/Niner Whiskey Delta

  2. THAT, was one level fellow, he was scared, but…pulled it off. Great job sir!!! Fantastic video!!! My son, was a pilot in a Cessna. Can’t imagine how scary with all those instruments!!! Did a beautiful job!!!

  3. Fantastic series of events that had me on edge of my couch. Unfortunate that the pilot died, prayers to the family. Glad Doug was able to land plane, thus saving the lives of his family & his. I was so spellbound by the original transmission of pilot and ATCs interactions. Was there ever a made-for-TV movie made about this incident? If so, what was the name of it? Appreciate hearing about this incident.

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