Can you secure a plane in trouble?

(CNN) – This is an unfortunate scenario: your flight cannot be piloted and someone will have to get in their seat and land on the plane. Can you do

If your name is Darren Harrison, the answer is yes. The pilot of his flight from the Bahamas to Fort Pierce in Florida, in early May, was “out of action,” leaving the single-engine Cessna 208 without crews. But with the help of a radio from certified flight instructor and pilot Robert Morgan, Harrison landed. almost perfect and Palm Beach International Airport.

This is the latest in a series of talk-downs like luck, where an airplane lands safely with the help of someone from the ground or an airplane.

In 2019, flight attendant Max Sylvester landed on a plane in Western Australia for his first flight lesson, after losing consciousness. In 2013, retired John Wildey, who had served in the air force but not as a pilot, safely flew a plane around the world in the north -east of England, in the dark and later. of some unsatisfactory attempts. And in 2012 in Wisconsin, 80 -year -old Helen Collins, who had a driving background, had a good record of the plane her husband was flying before his illness.

There is one common denominator in these events: they all apply to Cessna aircraft.

These small planes were the favorite of the flying schools because they were stable and easy to navigate, and as a result they became popular with flying enthusiasts.

Essentially, they need one plane, as well as two large planes (or more, in the case of long -haul commercial planes that use a combination of switches). If one of them is missing, just take another. In 2009, the Boeing 777 landed safely after one of the pilots died in half of the transatlantic flight, and the other two remained in power.

A happy example

A car without flying knowledge landed safely on a private plane on a Florida airport with the help of an air pilot after the pilot was lost. The driver’s whereabouts are unknown at this time. CNN’s Pete Muntean reports.

According to Douglas Moss, an FAA -certified flight instructor and former United Airlines pilot, although it is very difficult to land a plane without knowledge, certain conditions can be given, as in the events above.

First, they are energetic people who know they are in a life -or -death situation. Second, help the flying instructor on the radio to communicate with them on each activity. And last but not least, some natural talent for managing a mechanical device.

“For example, you can quickly switch and understand the relationship between an aircraft’s flight components, such as steering and throttle, and their aerodynamic response,” Moss said. But without any of these conditions, he adds, things can go wrong.

On large aircraft such as airplanes, however, a very good example may fall short, such as Patrick Smith, a pilot who flies a Boeing 767 and author of the famous book and with the blog “Ask the Pilot.”

Smith believes that no one without knowledge can fly the power of commercial aircraft at high altitudes.

“The pilot doesn’t have the idea of ​​making talk radios, except to fly and land on an airplane,” he said.

Most of the unfulfilled crashes are related to Cessna light aircraft.

Most of the unfulfilled crashes are related to Cessna light aircraft.

LINDSEY PARNABY / AFP and Getty Images

No driver landed on the plane, but that was mostly because no one tried.

“The closest example of this happened a few years ago over Greece, when a pilot, also a student pilot, was taken into custody of a 737 “After the rest of the crew and passengers couldn’t work because of the pressure. He couldn’t do anything, the plane ran out of fuel and fell,” Smith said. , relating to the 2005 crash of Helios Airways Flight 522, which killed all 121 on board.

Andreas Prodromou, the pilot, thought about using a portable oxygen tank, but only got access to the cockpit minutes before the engines fired.

A better example is where the plane is pre -arranged for landing and lined with runway, not at sea level.

“The challenges are against you a lot, but the consequences are different from individual and flight to flight,” Smith said.

“Where is the plane from the runway in terms of altitude, distance and speed? And how accurately does this man’s seat-of-pants explain the plane’s operation? The most of it, go down. to be lucky. ”

Does trust help?

A full flight simulator gives you a real test if you can land on a plane.

A full flight simulator gives you a real test if you can land on a plane.

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP and Getty Images

How about flight simulation software, like the popular Microsoft Flight Simulator? They can give you a lot better, Smith said.

“A smart gamer might save the day. But high -end hobby sims aren’t really real. The devil is in the details – there are changes, tweaks and system features that you haven’t seen before. ., but can change life or death in the scenes we are talking about. “

For those looking to plan ahead, the site is full of resources on how to land on a plane, with a link titled “How to secure a plane in a crisis” from the popular wikiHow guides, and detailed video tutorials. It’s hard to say if these things can increase chances, but they can also increase someone’s confidence.
A psychiatric study by the University of Waikato in New Zealand has shown that just watching a four -minute YouTube video of two pilots working on a catastrophic landing on a mountain can quickly get people ready to go. do it.

“While telling us they knew landing a plane required a lot of knowledge, those who watched the video were 28.6% more confident that they could land a plane with immortality, about those who don’t, ”said Kayla Jordan, one of the study’s authors.

This is why when novices learn a little about a difficult task, says Jordan, their confidence in their work increases rapidly, something called the Dunning-End effect. Kruger.

In practice, this kind of trust is more effective for men than for women.

“Whether they watched the video or not, we found that men were more confident in their ability to board a plane than women by about 12%,” Jordan said. . “This knowledge about performance makes men more confident in their knowledge and abilities than women, even at a higher level, such as running or running. diving. “

There’s an easy way to test this misconception, and see exactly if a newcomer can land a plane, like Patrick Smith: use a professional flight simulator, train operators to train their plates.

“Hold a person in a full -fledged flight simulator at 35,000 feet, without assistance, and see what comes next,” he said. “It’s not pretty.”

Top photo credit: ERIC PIERMONT / AFP via Getty Images

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