Just as Maggie Taraska was airborne in her first solo flight, the 17-year-old student pilot realized the plane’s right main wheel fell off. She circled the Beverly Regional Airport in Massachusetts for a half hour as her flight instructor, John Singleton, and air traffic controllers coached her on what to do next.
In a recording of radio transmission between the plane and the tower we hear Singleton reassure Maggie, telling her she’s doing a great job and not to worry because there’s plenty of time, fuel, and daylight. With his guidance, the teen kept calm under pressure landed the plane perfectly and she walked away without a scratch.
“I just felt my heart sink,” Maggie explains at a press conference about the event. “I just knew I had to fly the plane. I panicked a little bit, but you have to have confidence in your ability.”
She can be my wing-man anytime!