MSN Controller Lands Pilot: "I can see absolutely nothing."
Friday, March 29, 2013
On Feb. 21, 2013, a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) pilot flying a small aircraft departed Rock River (RVY) airport, which is approximately 20 miles east of Madison Airport (MSN) in Wisconsin. Conditions soon deteriorated for the pilot who hadn't had training in bad weather conditions.
The pilot radioed in to the tower reporting his windows had fogged up and his aircraft was encountering "white out" conditions. The pilot added that he was having trouble holding the assigned headings and maintaining the accurate speed.
MSN controller Jack Deutscher started vectoring the aircraft beneath the clouds near RVY so the pilot could make a safe landing. Unfortunately, the ceilings were too low for the pilot to get out of the clouds, and he had to be redirected to MSN, where weather conditions were slightly better.
While the pilot was being redirected, he at one point said, "I can see absolutely nothing." The aircraft was continuing to lose speed. After three or four missed landings, the pilot finally saw the airport through a gap in the clouds.
This event gained local attention, click below to watch Deutscher interviews.
NBC 15 News: http://www.nbc15.com/home/headlines/Air-Traffic-Controller-Helps-Save-Pilot--200329181.html
ABC 19 News: http://www.wxow.com/story/21812610/2013/03/27/air-traffic-controllers-help-pilot-land-plane-in-icy-conditions