Harrison climbed over three rows of seats into the cockpit as the plane was in a nosedive and moved the unconscious pilot out of the way so Harrison could put on the headphone and alert air traffic control to the situation.
OMG! I didn't catch this detail in earlier reporting. That's just terrifying.
The pilot who fell unconscious last week during a flight landed by a passenger with no idea how to fly a plane has made a recovery that his doctor is calling “a miracle.”
The ability of passenger Darren Harrison, 39, to successfully land a Cessna 208 that was in a nosedive over Florida not only saved all three people on board from crashing, but it also gave doctors a chance to save the pilot.
Harrison landed the plane at Palm Beach International Airport, where emergency personnel then rushed the pilot to St. Mary’s Medical Center before he was transferred to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.
The pilot, whose name has not been released, is now out of the hospital and resting at home after he underwent surgery for an aortic dissection, according to the hospital. An aortic dissection is a life-threatening emergency in which a tear occurs in the inner layer of the body’s main artery.
Dr. Nishant Patel, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center who treated the pilot, outlined how long the odds were that the man would survive the landing, the trips to the two hospitals and then the surgery.
“Fifty percent of patients won’t make it to the hospital, and then 50 percent of patients that do make it to the hospital will pass away within 24 hours without prompt diagnosis and treatment,” Patel said on "TODAY" Tuesday.