Doncaster man meets air ‘saviours’ who helped him land plane
A man who was forced to take control of a plane after his pilot friend collapsed, will meet the team who helped save his life for the first time today.
Rossington man John Wildey had to bring down a Cessna Skyhawk in October last year, despite having no previous flying experience.
The 77-year old grandad often flew with his pilot friend from and to Sandtoft airfield, but this flight was one he will never forget.
He is meeting for the first time the air control team who talked him down safely that day. Despite his intense fear he managed to keep his cool and follow their instructions safely.
When his pilot lost consciousness after telling John that he felt ill, the 77-year old contacted air controllers and gave the Mayday signal. He calmly told them his pilot was unconscious and that he was not a trained pilot.
John Cameron, the first air traffic controller to speak to John, gave his chances of landing safely at that point at about 30 per cent, he admitted later.
The decision was taken to divert John 20 miles to the larger Humberside Airport and flying instructor Roy Murray talked John through bringing the Cessna down.
Other flights were diverted and a Sea King search and rescue helicopter was scrambled from RAF Leconfield.
With expert guidance, John was able to land safely on a runway despite having to abort his first attempt in the dark night.
The former desk employee with the RAF talks with his saviours face to face at RAF Leconfield today and the meeting can be viewed on ITV Calendar tonight.