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Hero passenger tells how he landed plane at Humberside Airport

By Dave Higgens and Nathan Paull

A passenger who was forced to crash land a plane after the pilot was taken ill said he thought he was going to run into a wall as he struggled to reach the brakes to stop the aircraft.

John Wildey landed the plane on Tuesday at Humberside Airport, near Grimsby, north Lincolnshire after being talked through it by a flight instructor.

The pilot, who has since died, had collapsed in the cockpit and Mr Wildey – who had never even flown an aircraft before – was left to ground the Cessna 172.

Mr Wildey required several attempts before finally touching down in the dark – with no lights.

"I've never flown a plane before," he told BBC News.

"I suppose it was a controlled crash really and then I just couldn't get the brakes because I couldn't reach them."

Mr Wildey said he began to veer off the runway as he was attempting to reach the brakes and could see a wall rapidly approaching.

"I thought 'I ain't going to do it', but we managed to stop in the end," he said.

Flight instructor Roy Murray, who guided Mr Wildey through the manoeuvre , said he made a "beautiful landing".

"I wouldn't be frightened to fly with him."

Belfast Telegraph

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