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How a veteran pilot helped a young aviator during a terrifying flight emergency


"It was definitely the scariest moment I've ever experienced," said young pilot Taylor Hash, 21, who had a serious problem during her third solo flight over Pontiac, Michigan.

By Scott Stump –


Pilot Taylor Hash felt "nervous" when she was informed that a significant part of the landing gear of her single-engine plane had detached during her third solo flight.

Hash, 21, was thinking about how he was going to survive landing Friday at a small airport in Pontiac, Michigan, when a calm voice came over the radio.

It was exactly what he needed to get back on safe ground.

Young pilot Taylor Hash chats with veteran aviator Chris Yates, during an interview with an NBC News reporter on the TODAY show.

Veteran pilot Chris Yates was flying nearby when

he saw pieces of landing gear detach from Hash's plane mid-air and fall onto the runway.

Hash was forced to land without the front wheel.

"I was thinking about my daughter and how scared and alone [Hash] probably felt," Yates recounted Wednesday.

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The control tower informed Hash about what was happening.

"It was definitely the scariest moment I've ever experienced, probably in my entire life," he said.

The joint interview with both pilots by the TODAY television program served as the occasion for them to see each other virtually for the first time, since Yates was in full flight when Hash had to make his landing.

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Yates, a former director of aviation at SpaceX, could detect the anxiety in Hash's voice as she asked him over the radio if he should treat this situation as a normal soft landing.

The veteran pilot and air traffic controller told Hash to circle the airport until she was ready to land, giving Yates time to calm her down.

When Hash told Yates that her name was Taylor, the pilot was excited because that's what her daughter is also called.

"I couldn't answer on the radio because I could barely speak," he said.

"The words wouldn't come out."

"It was definitely the scariest moment I've ever had, probably in my life."

However, he quickly calmed down and did his best to guide Hash to a safe landing.

"Taylor, this is Chris," he said.

"My daughter's name is also Taylor and I taught her to fly. We're going to be fine."

"Thank you very much," replied the young woman.

Those few words were enough to help Hash control his panic.

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"You could tell my voice went from nervous, 'what am I going to do,' to 'I can do it,' and that was 100% thanks to him," Hash recounted.

Yates asked Hash if she was going to become a professional pilot.

She replied that she had "that in plans".

"This is a good start," Yates said.

"It's a good story for your legacy, girl."

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Yates guided her to the critical moment when she touched down safely.

"Okay, girl, good job!

" Yates said over the radio. "Here it comes, the [plane's] nose is coming down.

You're alright, you're alright, you're alright.

Talk to me, girl."

"I'm fine," Hash replied.

"Everything's fine".

"Good girl. I'm proud of you!" Yates replied.

The phrase sounded like the best "okay girl" Hash had ever heard.

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"As soon as he said that, he added, 'I'm proud of you,' and the flood of tears started," Hash confessed.

"You could hear my voice had changed," Yates commented.

"I was crying too."

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the fact that Hash says has not deterred her from becoming a professional pilot.

If she could deal with that situation, she thinks, she'll be able to deal with anything that goes wrong on a future flight.

Hash and Yates credit the air traffic controller, who allowed Yates to talk to Hash throughout the flight.

Both pilots are now making plans to meet in person and fly together.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2023-03-30

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