A trainee pilot taking his 3rd flying lesson was forced to land the plane after his instructor collapsed mid-flight

max sylvester

  • Australian trainee pilot Max Sylvester was taking his third-ever flying lesson when his instructor passed out next to him.
  • Sylvester, who had been flying a Cessna 152 light aircraft for the first time, immediately called air traffic control, with controllers walking him through how to land the plane.
  • NBC News published audio of his distress call, in which an air traffic control official can be heard telling Sylvester when he landed: “You did it mate. Well done. That’s amazing!”
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An Australian man on his third-ever flying lesson was forced to land the plane after his instructor fainted next to him.

Learner pilot Max Sylvester had been flying a light aircraft in Jandakot, western Australia, on Saturday when his instructor passed out, 9 News channel reported.

The plane was a light Cessna 152 aircraft, The West Australian newspaper and NBC News reported.

After being unable to revive the instructor, Sylvester sent a distress signal to a nearby air traffic control tower. Staff in the tower then guided him through the process for landing the plane.

cessna 152

This was Sylvester’s first time flying that particular aircraft and first time landing any plane, according to NBC News. He made a few attempts before landing successfully, The West Australian reported.

NBC News published partial audio from Sylvester’s distress call, in which an air traffic official can be heard saying upon Sylvester’s landing: “You did it mate. Well done. That’s amazing!”

The instructor is believed to have suffered a seizure, according to 9 News. Sylvester can be heard telling air traffic authorities in NBC News’s recording: “He’s leaning over my shoulder. I’m trying to keep him upright. He keeps falling down.”

You can listen to the audio of the harrowing conversation here:

Sylvester’s instructor was rushed straight to hospital, where he remains in serious but stable condition, 9 News reported.

“It was adrenaline and my knowledge of flying, which I love, that kept us going,” Sylvester told reporters on Monday afternoon, according to the Perth Now news site.

“If I hadn’t studied I wouldn’t be here, it’s as simple as that.”

Sylvester also said, while holding his young toddler: “You’re gonna show your kids that having issues like this, you’ve got to power through them.”

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