- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 10, 2013

Talk about being in the right place at the right time. When a pilot of a Cessna 172 took ill while flying over England, his only passenger took over and landed the plane — something he had never done before, The Associated Press said.

With some help from instructors on the ground at Humberside Airport, John Wildey, 77, made several attempts to land before completing a “controlled crash” in the dark, he told the BBC, as AP reported.

“I hadn’t a clue what to do to get down,” Mr. Wildey told the BBC. “I’ve never flown a plane before.”

Emergency vehicles were there and tended to the pilot, who later died and who was a friend of Mr. Wildey. Commercial Director Paul Litten expressed his condolences to the pilot’s family during the press conference at the airport, the AP said.

Police are still investigating what caused the pilot’s death.

Passenger John Wildey (right) walks on the  grounds at Sandtoft Airfield on Wednesday Oct. 9, 2013, after he landed a plane safely at Humberside Airport near Grimsby, England, the previous night, following the pilot's being taken ill. Mr. Wildey landed the plane in the dark without lights, despite having no flying experience, guided only by ground instructors. The pilot was later pronounced dead. (AP Photo/Anna Gowthorpe, Press Association)
Passenger John Wildey (right) walks on the grounds at Sandtoft Airfield on ... more >