Can The Average Person Land An Airplane?

I found this survey and article amusing.

What I found most entertaining is the following quote from the “expert” they interviewed: "Assuming the engine is running when the pilot becomes incapacitated, and the throttle is set to maintain flight, a properly trimmed airplane will fly itself,…” This person gave away their lack of experience in any big airplane when she said “the” engine. I looked her up on the FAA’s website and she does not hold any type ratings, so she might be an expert, but an expert on small airplanes.

Now granted, the article and survey did not specify what size airplanes they were talking about, so I will give some leeway there. I can assure you that the average person would very much struggle to land any aircraft, no matter how large or small it is.

1 Like

Reminds me of a video I saw recently:

Interesting read but there were a whole lot of "if"s in there.

Best bet if it’s a heavy is talk them through arming the auto-land and auto-brakes and then touch nothing else!!!


Interesting read… this goes back to the whole “I have 2,000 hours of Microsoft Flight Simulator experience” memes almost. I would almost guarantee there could have been some exposure of that, which created this bias of survey.

Also, for anyone that does not know, ATP’s location Concord Regional Airport (JQF) is in the video clip, (1:50 min:sec)! I recognized that ramp so fast, that’s a neat view from the tower.