What This Student Pilot Does After His Instructor Passes Out During His First Lesson

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A student pilot, Max Sylvester landed a plane all by himself after his instructor passed out mid-flight.

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Sylvester was coached through the ordeal by an air traffic operator

Despite being just a trainee, Sylvester managed to land the plane successfully in an emergency landing.

What’s amazing about this is the fact that this was Sylvester’s first flying lesson. He disclosed the details of his shocking experience to  Australia’s  ABC News. He said that he was only mid way through his first flying lesson when his instructor suddenly slumped into his seat unconscious.


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We’re tracking where you are at the moment,” the operator says.

“You’re doing a really great job. I know this is really stressful. But you’re going to do an amazing job and we’re going to help you get down to the ground, OK?”

The controller explains to Mr Sylvester how to reduce the plane’s speed, then discusses the landing.

“Have you landed any aircraft before?” he asks. 

“No, I haven’t,” Mr Sylvester responds

– as reported by ABC News. 

The air tension

Sylvester, 29 tried to resuscitate his instructor, New Zeland born Robert Mollard,back to consciousness but was advisee by the air traffic operator to rather concentrate on landing safely.

Well all’s well that ends well. Sylvester did land the plane successfully in an emergency landing, to much relief and surprise of the owner of Air Australia International, (which employs the pilot), Chuck McElwee. Who said that he has nit seen such a situation in the past 28 years of his experience in airlines.

Speaking of being lucky, Sylvester’s instructor Robert must have surely been on his lucky day. As the student said that Robert considered him to be one of the very best in his batch of pilot trainees.

Well, looks like Robert was right doesn’t it. Currently Sylvester’s instructor is getting treated at the hospital and has been reported to be showing stable behavior.


“This could have gone way, way bad,But everything worked out right, and it worked right, mostly because of the cooperation of the tower, the fact that he was a student — that he was dedicated and he knew what he was doing and he pulled it off — and that my flight instructor went up to the tower and they all worked together.”-Chuck McElwee

While things were tense up in the air, Chuck McElwee spilled a few details of the nerve wracking ordeal him and Sylvester’s wife went through at  the base station. They tracked his every move on his emergency landing.

McElwee was simply all praises for Sylvester’s wife who according to him was as fearless as a rock.

She was a rock, let me tell you, she held it together all the way along the line.The only thing that we worried about was after … he was on an adrenaline high.We told his wife not to let him drive … until he had calmed down.”- Chuck McElwee on Sylvester’s wife

Well as of now, everything seems to be under control, with Robert safely recovering, Sylvester was handed his flying certificate.




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