Le pilote est mort...Bravo le passager

Avion de même modèle
Avion de même modèle
Un avion bimoteur, Raytheon Beechcraft BE200 King Air, transportant six personnes, dont le pilote, a pu atterrir sans dommage dimanche en Floride après qu'un passager eut pris les commandes de l'avion alors que le pilote était mort dans la cabine.
 "Peu après le décollage, le pilote a été frappé d'incapacité. Un passager a pu prendre le contrôle de l'appareil, communiquer avec les contrôleurs aériens et faire atterrir l'avion en toute sécurité à Fort Myers", a expliqué la porte-parole de l'autorité de régulation aérienne.
 Les causes de la mort du pilote ne sont pas encore connues et une autopsie devait être réalisée. Le passager qui a pris les commandes de l'avion avait déjà l'expérience du pilotage de mono-moteurs.
 Pour l'aider à atterrir, les contrôleurs aériens, qui ne connaissaient pas le mode d'emploi technique du King Air bimoteur, ont appelé un instructeur qu'ils connaissaient dans le Connecticut afin qu'il leur dicte la marche à suivre. L'avion avait décollé dimanche en fin de journée de Marco Island près de Naples en Floride et se dirigeait vers le Mississippi. L'opération de guidage du passager/pilote a duré quarante minutes.

Article d'origine en Anglais:
Passenger lands plane at SWFIA with help from tower after pilot dies mid-flight.
Originally published 2:31 p.m., Sunday, April 12, 2009
Updated 8:46 p.m., Sunday, April 12, 2009
FORT MYERS — It could have ended so differently.

Five people on board a plane that took off from Marco Island Executive Airport Sunday got back on the ground safely after the pilot of their private plane died mid-air.
One passenger assisted by three air traffic controllers and a pilot relaying cockpit instructions from Connecticut worked together to avoid further tragedy.

The pilot’s name and cause of death were not available as of Sunday night, nor were the names of the five passengers on the Beechcraft King Air twin-engine plane. Due to Federal Aviation Administration rules, the names of the air traffic controllers who helped bring the plane down have not been released, said FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen.
Steven Wallace, a representative for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association in Miami, said the flight turned harrowing soon after take-off, as the plane was in the process of climbing to 10,000 feet. The pilot checked in with the Miami air control tower once he left the air space monitored by the Marco controllers.

“Our controller who was working the afternoon rush tried to acknowledge him and give him climbing instructions and he never responded to us,” said Wallace, who was present during the radio discussions and monitored the radar to watch the plane’s progress.
Eventually, another voice came on the radio from the twin-engine plane. One of five passengers on board said the pilot had passed out and that the plane was still climbing on auto-pilot. What followed was a dicey 15 or 20 minutes in which several controllers worked to continue directing the normal flow of Sunday afternoon air traffic, all while helping the passenger disengage auto pilot on the plane and begin descending to Southwest Florida International Airport, which was, by then, the nearest runway.

At one point, said Wallace, the man who took control of the aircraft said he believed the pilot was dead.
“It’s kind of like being the traffic policeman standing in the highway in the middle of rush hour,” said Wallace. “The traffic on the highway doesn’t stop. (The controller was) trying to work all of these other airplanes while this emergency was going on.”
The passenger who took the controls and was in contact with the control tower in Miami, and subsequently in Fort Myers, has single-engine plane experience, said Bergen. He had been a pilot since at least 1990. However, he was not certified to fly a twin-engine plane like the King Air, which is a large luxury plane, said Wallace. To instruct him on how to maneuver the plane and bring it back to earth, one air traffic controller got on the phone with a friend in Connecticut who is rated to fly the King Air aircraft.

While on the phone with the friend, the controller radioed information to the passenger that helped land the plane safely at Southwest Florida International.
“Controllers are a unique bunch of folks,” said Wallace. “Not all of them know how to fly but when it comes to crunch time, you pull all of your resources together.”
Bergen said it is not unusual for controllers who have pilot experience to “participate in resolving situations.”
Wallace was quick to give kudos to everyone involved. He said no airplanes were delayed or redirected while air traffic controllers were helping land the King Air, and said the passenger-turned-pilot executed the landing like an old pro. It was a bitter moment, though, said Wallace, given the fact that FAA controllers recently shouldered a significant pay cut.
“The three here and at Fort Myers approach were all in a very unique situation where the FAA has cut their pay 30 percent and said, ‘They’re not worth what we pay them,’” Wallace said.

The plane, which was en route to Jackson, Miss., is owned by White Equipment Leasing LLC, in Archibald. La., according to the FAA Web site.


Lundi 13 Avril 2009

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