Passenger lands plane after pilot dies

A passenger on board a twin-engine private plane was forced to take over the controls and land the airplane when the pilot suffered a heart attack in flight.

According to the Associated Press, the pilot, Douglas Reichardt of Henderson, Nev., filed a flight plan to San Diego on May 6. Reichardt and his passengers departed from North Las Vegas Airport at 8:30 a.m.

Approximately 45 minutes later, Reichardt radioed that he was not feeling well and was returning to the airport.

When Reichardt lost consciousness, one of the passengers took control of the Turbo-Commander 695A and made a gear-up landing several hundred feet short of the runway.

Local television reports indicated that the passenger, who does not hold a pilot certificate, had done some glider flying more than 20 years ago.

Authorities said neither passenger was seriously hurt.

The pilot was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash.

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