A young pilot is expressing her gratitude for the presence of a guiding voice during an emergency landing after she experienced a partial loss of landing gear during takeoff.
Chris Yates, an experienced pilot at the airport, quickly alerted the control tower about the potential disaster. However, the tower operators, unfamiliar with such a situation, were unsure of what actions to take.
Yates was connected to the young pilot, Taylor Hash, whose name coincidentally shared a resemblance to his daughter’s. This comforting connection immediately eased Hash’s anxiety during her third-ever solo flight.
Hash, a student pilot, was operating a Diamond Star single-engine aircraft from Oakland County International Airport in Michigan. At the time, she had accumulated 57 flight hours.
Yates, formerly associated with SpaceX’s aviation department, managed to calm Hash with his mention of his daughter before guiding her through the process of executing an emergency landing.
Since Hash had to land without a front tire, Yates instructed her to continue circling the field until she felt prepared to attempt the landing.
In the recorded radio conversation, Yates can be heard advising, “When you touch down, I just want that stick all the way back. You’re gonna hold that stick back like you don’t want that nose to touch. The nose is gonna come down, you’re okay, you’re okay. Talk to me. Thatta girl, proud of you.”
Footage shared by WXYZ News Detroit captured the landing, with onlookers praising the remarkable landing as Hash skillfully touched down without the nose immediately hitting the ground.
Yates, reflecting on the incident, shared his concern for Hash, mentioning, “I was thinking of my daughter and just how afraid and alone [Hash] probably felt,” during an interview with NBC News correspondent Gadi Schwartz.
During an interview with NBC News TODAY, Hash revealed that as soon as Yates said, “Thatta girl” and expressed his pride, she couldn’t help but burst into tears, with Yates admitting to shedding tears as well.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has initiated an investigation into the cause of the landing gear malfunction. Despite the frightening experience, Hash expressed her unwavering determination to continue flying, emphasizing that she has no intentions of giving up her passion.