Passenger Lands Plane After Pilot Dies

After a very smart, very well planned April fools’ day hoax about a Hotelicopter, I thought this one was a media hack again. But no, this story seems to be true.

Do you remember the scene in Airplane the movie, when the main character, the veteran pilot has to land a jet after all three pilots get sick of the food served? Well, it must be a nightmare, when it actually happens to you.

Just like in the old Hollywood movie, Doug White held a pilot license, but he had never flown a plane as big as this one.  They took off from Marco Island. The plane was leased by the company of Mr White. During take off the pilot got sick and lost consciousness. White travelling with his family realized there’s no other way than landing the plane by himself.

(c) Wikipedia

(c) Wikipedia

He radioed the traffic control and asked them for help. One of the controllers called a friend of his, who knows this aircraft type. Together they navigated the plane down exactly like in the movie. The auto pilot could not be used as the pilot programmed the original destination into it.

In Fort Meyers, when they finally reached a safe position, fire fighters and ambulances were waiting for them. They tried hard to save the life of Joe Cabuk, the pilot, but he did not survive.

Although the drama has a partial happy ending, therefore no manuscript will be based on it, there is one important thing to learn: when you’re in the biggest trouble and you think there is no way out, don’t forget to repeat it to yourself at least three times: “Yes, I can.”

Read the full story and watch a video about it on

Learn more about King Air planes on Wikipedia.

By Szafi


2 Responses to “Passenger Lands Plane After Pilot Dies”

  1. 1 Eric April 18, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Cool website. I have one about planes but way not as good as yours.

  2. 2 Igor April 22, 2009 at 10:19 am

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