A small aircraft with electrical problems was able to land safely after vital flight information was relayed to the pilot by text message.
The twin-engined Piper plane with a pilot and four passengers was on a flight from Kerry in Eire to the Channel Islands but lost all electrical power, including all radio systems, shortly after take off.
The pilot used his mobile phone to call Kerry airport and then air traffic control at Cork to explain the situation, but the call was repeatedly dropped.
He managed to get hold of an air traffic control (ATC) employee at Cork but couldn’t get confirmation that they could see him or vital information as to where it was safe to land.
The ATC controller decided to switch to text messages as the most secure way to get the information to the pilot.
"In this incident the positive and proactive initiative of the ATC controller, who, on realising that mobile audio communication from the pilot was intermittent, quickly switched to texting his instructions instead," air accident investigator John Hughes told The Irish Times.
"This contributed to the safe resolution of the incident and, for such, the controller should be commended for his actions."
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