The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Scared teen takes controls of light plane over rural Australia after pilot loses consciousness

  • Print

CANBERRA, Australia - A teenager described on Sunday how he took the controls of a light plane for more than half an hour after the pilot passed out during a joy flight over rural Australia.

Troy Jenkins, 19, said the single-engine Cessna 150 was only 10 minutes into a flight from the New South Wales state farming town of Forbes on Saturday afternoon when the pilot Derek Neville, 61, lost consciousness.

Jenkins said he had taken the controls before while flying with Neville, a family friend. Jenkins flew circles around Forbes airport at a steady altitude of 610 metres (2,000 feet) for around 45 minutes before the pilot came to.

"Keeping it up wasn't a problem, it was the landing part I wasn't sure of," Jenkins told The Associated Press. "I was pretty scared."

"I thought I had to save myself and him. It was quite an experience," he added.

Jenkins said he had landed a plane only once before and that was with Neville's supervision. Jenkins was relieved that the pilot had regained consciousness moments before they were to land.

"He sort of poked me in the right direction and we both brought it down," Jenkins said. They landed safely.

Jenkins was also grateful for the help of pilot Paul Reynolds, who heard Jenkins' radio calls for help and came to the rescue. Reynolds flew alongside the Cessna and provided advice over the radio.

"I just heard on the radio someone calling: 'Help, help,'" Reynolds told Nine Network television.

"What I got him to do was essentially just maintain that altitude and fly around the airfield," he added.

After the landing, Neville was flown to Orange Base Hospital, where he remained on Sunday.

His wife Merle Neville said he had undergone heart and brain scans, but doctors had yet to diagnose the problem.

"We've had a good outcome," she said, referring to the successful landing.

Police Detective Sergeant Steve Howard said the air emergency could have resulted in tragedy if the pilot had not regained consciousness when he did.

"I do believe the passenger had some prior experience in the plane and had landed the plane with some assistance in the past, but we were just very fortunate that the pilot did come to," Howard told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Air safety investigators plan to interview both the pilot and passenger on Tuesday, Australian Transport Safety Bureau spokesman Stuart Godley said.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Paul Maurice addresses media at end of 13/14 season

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA Winnipeg Free Press 090528 STAND UP...(Weather) One to oversee the pecking order, a pack of pelican's fishes the eddies under the Red River control structure at Lockport Thursday morning......
  • A gaggle of Canada geese goslings at Woodsworth Park in Winnipeg Monday- See Project Honk Day 05- May 07, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What are you most looking forward to this Easter weekend?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google