A young pilot is grateful that there was someone to guide her through an emergency landing after losing part of her landing gear during takeoff.
Chris Yates, an experienced pilot from the aviation platform, radioed the control tower to warn them of the potential destabilization, but the control tower operators had never seen such a situation before and didn’t know what to do.
The control station connected Yates with the young pilot, named Taylor Hash.
Hash was only on her third solo flight, and her worry was evident in her voice.
“Taylor, this is Chris. My daughter’s name is also Taylor, and I taught her how to fly! We’re going to get through this, sweetheart,” he said to her.
As a student pilot, Hash had taken off in a Diamond Star single-engine aircraft from Oakland County International Airport in Michigan.
At the time of the incident, she had accumulated 57 flight hours.
Yates, the former head of aviation at SpaceX, managed to calm Hash by talking about his daughter before explaining how to perform an emergency landing.
Since Hash had to land without a front tire, Yates instructed her to continue circling the field until she felt ready to attempt landing the plane.
“When you touch down, I want that stick all the way back. You’re going to hold that stick back like you don’t want your nose to touch,” he can be heard saying in the recorded radio conversation. “The nose is going to fall, you’re doing good, you’re doing good. Talk to me. That’s the girl, proud of you.”
WXYZ News Detroit shared another video of the landing taken by two onlookers, showing that the plane managed to touch down without the nose immediately hitting the ground.
“I immediately thought of my daughter and the feeling of fear and loneliness she must have experienced,” said Mr. Yates.
NBC News TODAY interviewed Hash, who recounted that “as soon as he said ‘I’m proud of you,’ the tears started flowing.” Yates revealed that he, too, shed tears.
The FAA stated that it would investigate the cause of the malfunction, while Hash stated that despite the harrowing incident, she had no intention of giving up aviation.
Watch the TODAY’s coverage of the story HERE.