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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.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Memories of childhood get lodged in the brain, emerging when you least expect.

There are certain pleasurable sights, smells, sounds and tastes that fade into the rear-view mirror as we grow from being children to adults. But on a rare occasion, we’ll come across them again and it's like a portion of our brain that’s been hidden for years expresses itself, creating a huge jolt of joy.

It’s wonderful to experience this type of nostalgia but it often leaves a bittersweet feeling because we know there are countless more sensations that may never come into our consciousness again.

Nostalgia is fleeting and that's a good thing because it’s best not to live in the past. But it does remind us that the wonderful feeling of freedom, creativity and fun from our childhood can still be experienced as we age.

A Reddit user by the name of agentMICHAELscarnTLM posed a question to the online forum that dredged up countless memories and experiences that many had long forgotten. He asked a simple question, “What’s something you can bring up right now to unlock some childhood nostalgia for the rest of us?”

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