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passenger lands plane, air traffic control, Cessna 208,
Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

Coming into land… what does this joystick do?

Being a pilot is arguably one of the most demanding jobs in the world. People trust you with their lives and there is virtually zero margin for error. Yet professional pilots do it with seeming ease. If you have ever had the privilege of being in a cockpit while someone’s flying, you'll know they make it appear like it’s a task anyone with any amount of video game knowledge can do. Of course, it’s not that simple. Flying a plane takes up to a year of hands-on training depending on the type of aircraft you’d like to fly and the training program you attend.

Learning to fly a plane is almost always a voluntary decision, except in this one truly noteworthy instance.


A passenger with exactly zero flying experience was aboard a small private jet when the pilot appeared to have a medical emergency. The pilot of the single engine Cessna 208 became incoherent during the flight and the passenger had to take over unexpectedly after entering the cockpit and contacting air traffic control. The exchange was recorded on LiveATC audio.

The unnamed passenger informs Fort Pierce, Florida air traffic control, “I’ve got a serious situation here, my pilot has gone incoherent," he said on the radio. "I have no idea how to fly the airplane." After being asked what his position was, the passenger responded, "I have no idea. I see the coast of Florida in front of me and I have no idea."

Talk about a scary situation. Not only is the passenger experiencing an emergency with another human being, who he must’ve been concerned about, but now he’s charged with flying and landing a plane. That’s no easy feat, especially when likely your only experience with being a pilot is when you played Top Gun on your Sega Genesis in the '90s while your brother called you Goose.

It’s a safe bet that the video game wouldn’t have prepared him for his current predicament. Thankfully the concerned passenger had the wherewithal to figure out how to call for help from the people that are known for being cool under pressure.

Once air traffic control was aware of the dire situation, the controller immediately began trying to assist the passenger in keeping the wings level and making a safe descent. The controller continued guiding the passenger, saying "Maintain wings level and just try to follow the coast, either north or southbound. We're trying to locate you."

While the passenger was handling the pressure like a champ, there was a brief moment where he was unsure. “Have you guys located me yet?” the passenger asked. “I can’t even get my nav screen to turn on. It has all the information on it. You guys have any ideas on that?”'

Eventually the plane was located about 20 miles away from Boca Raton by air traffic control and it was guided to a safe landing at Palm Beach International Airport.

This will likely be a story this passenger tells well into old age and his grandchildren will scoff at the idea that it could be true. It’s also likely to be something that he hopes will never happen again, if he ever has the nerve to get on an airplane again.

Celine Dion spoke directly to her fans on social media.

Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.

In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.

"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."

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Joy

10 things that made us smile this week

This week's finds include an adorable baby's first 'Dada,' an appreciative delivery driver, an angel rocking out to 'O Come, All Ye Faithful' and more.

Upworthy's weekly roundup of joy.

Ho ho ho, happy humans!

It's that time of the week again, when we gather together the most smile-worthy tidbits of the past seven days and share them with you all. As the lucky person who gets to wrap them up in a nice, shiny, virtual bow, I'm delighted to tell you that this week's list is awesome. They always are—that's kind of the point—but this week I can practically guarantee you're going to be brimming with joy by the end.

Right out of the gate, we've got baby giggles. I mean, come on. Who can resist baby giggles?

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Tenacious D performs at the Rock in Pott festival.

The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”

In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.

At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.

Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."

Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.

Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.

The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.

Warning: This video contains NSFW language.

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