Author Topic: Passenger lands small plane at RDU after pilot suffers medical emergency  (Read 1179 times)

Offline KB4TEZ

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DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- ABC11 has learned that a prominent Duke University professor has died after suffering a medical emergency while at the controls of an airplane flying over the Triangle on Sunday.

Someone else took over the single-engine plane and made an emergency landing at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

Cell phone video from an eyewitness showed those dramatic moments of paramedics loading a person into the back of an ambulance.

The video was shot by Evan Caulfield. He was minutes away from dropping his daughter off for a commercial flight. Caulfield is part of the group Fuquay Fire Buffs and is always listening to his scanner radio.

"I knew I was witnessing something," he said.

The plane took off around 3:30 p.m. according to Flight Aware and came back around 4:50 pm.

RDU said someone in the passenger seat took over the controls of the Cirrus SR-20 after the pilot was "slumped over the controls," according to air traffic control audio.

The tail number on the back of the plane is registered to Coherent Aviation, which comes back comes to a North Raleigh home and Joseph Izatt.

One of Izatt's mentees confirmed that Izatt was at the controls when this happened.

Izatt is the chair of the biomedical engineering department at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering.