Veteran Pilot Helps Student Pilot Navigate Aircraft During Emergency Landing

Veteran Pilot Helps Student Pilot Navigate Aircraft During Emergency Landing

Inside Edition’s Deborah Norville and Les Trent report on a veteran pilot who helped a student pilot navigate her plane during an emergency landing. The two pilots made an immediate connection and together worked through a dangerous situation!

Taylor Hash (21) was making just her third solo flight. She was preparing to land the aircraft when the nose gear fell from the plane and dropped to the runway. Though Taylor had no idea the piece had fallen off, one person on the ground saw it all. 

Chris Yates, a veteran pilot and the former Director of Aviation for SpaceX, had just landed his plane on the airstrip in Pontiac, Michigan when the nose gear of Taylor’s single-engine plane “bounced and rolled down the runway.” Air traffic control immediately alerted Taylor.

We hear the conversation between the air traffic controller and Taylor. When the tower controller tells Taylor that her “entire front wheel assembly” is on the runway, Taylor responds calmly. Taylor tells Les Trent that she was just trying to figure out her options for landing safely. 

The tower puts Chris on the phone with Taylor so that he can help guide her through the landing. He first asks her name, and then he shares that his own daughter is named Taylor. And, he taught her to fly when she was a little girl! Chris assures Taylor Hash that she’s going to be just fine. We can hear the fear and relief in her voice as she thanks him.    

Chris goes on to talk with Taylor in a calming way, asking her if she wants to be a career pilot. He tells her that this will make a great story one day, and he calls her “kid.” His confidence, ease, and kindness help her stay focused as she lands the plane. She does so just as instructed, and Chris praises her performance, telling her he’s proud of her!  

Taylor says that she will always stay in touch with Chris, and the two are making plans to meet in person and fly together soon. Chris was Taylor’s angel that day. He was right where he was supposed to be to offer the help and guidance that was needed. It’s funny how that works! 

“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10

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