By David Propper
A beginner pilot in Michigan safely landed a plane that was missing a crucial part Friday after another pilot coached her through the terrifying, caught-on-camera moment Friday.
On Taylor Hash’s third-ever solo flight, she lost the aircraft’s front nose gear tire as she cleared the runway and ascended into the air.
The missing piece was quickly noticed by another pilot who was preparing for take off, according to reports.
The veteran pilot alerted the control tower at Oakland County International Airport about the mishap, and then jumped into action to offer life-saving guidance to the freaked-out 21-year-old.
The more experienced pilot, Chris Yates, radioed Hash and quickly reassured her as he heard her voice tremble.
“Taylor, this is Chris. My daughter’s name is Taylor and I taught her to fly! We’re gonna be just fine, kiddo,” Yates said over the radio, according to WXYZ.
He calmly instructed Hash how to land the plane and avoid disaster. Video of the dramatic landing shows Hash land the plane without much damage after she was told to circle the airport and do a low approach.
“The nose is gonna come down, you’re okay, you’re okay,” Yates said as Hash’s plane touched down on the runway. “Talk to me. Thatta girl, proud of you.”
Hash told Fox 2 the way Yates — a stranger from out of state — avoided sounding “official with the aviation language” was calming to her.
“It was perfect and just what I needed in that moment,” she said, calling it her most important landing to date and likely for the rest of her flying career.
Once the plane landed, both Yates and Hash reportedly cried, overwhelmed with emotion.
The young pilot admitted “it’s hard to think about what could have happened,” fearing the plane could have ended up off the runway or flipped over, WXYZ reported.
The two plan to take a trip – by plane – to Vegas at the end of April, according to the local television station.
“Somebody with six hours solo and 57 total hours flight time doesn’t handle the plane like that,” Yates told the outlet. “I hope all the airlines are paying attention to this kid right now.”