Pilot, 23, manages to land safely while passenger, 82, grabbed the controls of his planeBy Mason White 12:14 PM August 28, 2014
|James Chandler and Leslie Nixon|
By: Aarav Sen
A young pilot is being called a hero after he managed to land a plane safely after a man tried to take over the controls.
23-year-old James Chandler, was forced to punch his passenger in the face, breaking his nose, after he tried to take control of his plane.
Chandler was flying over Blue Mountains in Australia, when his elderly passenger grabbed the controls of the four-seater Duchess light aircraft.
The passenger, 82-year-old Leslie Nixon, has been flying planes for 50 years in Australia, as part of the Christian outreach program he started with his wife Martha.
Chandler on the other hand, got his pilot’s license just two years ago, but managed to land his single-engine aircraft in a field near Oberon, 110 kilometers from Sydney.
In the emergency call to air traffic control, Chandler was heard saying “my passenger is trying to take control.”
Nixon booked the flight with the charter company in Sydney, after telling staff that he needed to “sign some papers” in the town of Cowra.
Halfway through the flight, Nixon tried to send the plane in a tailspin. However, Chandler punched him in the face, which gave the pilot enough time to land safely.
Both were taken to a hospital. Chandler was treated for shock and Nixon was treated for facial injuries and a broken nose.
Police praised the pilot for remaining calm under pressure, which helped prevent a disaster.
Officers are now investigating and want to find out if Nixon deliberately tried to crash the plane.