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There are some well documented stories of non-pilots successfully landing airplanes after the pilot was incapacitated. Usually this involves radio assistance by ATC and/or flight instructors.

My question is whether there is any statistical data available about the success rate of such landings. I would judge success by the lives saved by the landing attempt.

I am aware that the term "non-pilot" is somewhat vague, in that it could refer to anything from a complete novice to a student pilot or even a GA pilot trying to land a commercial jet. Any kind of statistical data involving people punching above their weight trying to land an airplane in an emergency would qualify as an answer.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting question - welcome to Av.SE! $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Apr 17 '21 at 14:06
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    $\begingroup$ My suspicion is that it would be difficult to get any statistically significant figures on these events because they happen quite rarely. This related question might be a jumping-off point, but of course the newsworthy events will be the ones where the talk-down was successful, otherwise the story would be simply "the plane crashed." $\endgroup$
    – randomhead
    Apr 17 '21 at 14:40
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    $\begingroup$ @randomhead That's exactly why I asked. News reports are usually not a good source for statistical data ;) So getting a feeling for whether there are 1, 10 or 100 catastrophic crashes for every successful landing is what I'm looking for. $\endgroup$
    – Ulli T
    Apr 17 '21 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ The problem is not every GA pilot that is incapacitated -- which is rare; 3 per 1,000 accidents (fatal or not) -- is accompanied by a passenger, and "flight assist" reports don't have a checkbox for success or fail (more than once a day a GA pilot asks for ATC assistance in USA). I've tried to put together a meaningful answer, but it's simply not possible. Too rare for a significant figure. $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Apr 28 '21 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ How does it make any sense to close as "Opinion-Based" a question asking for stats??? Just because it turns out that such stats aren't kept - as far as any of us have found so far - why does the question need to be closed? VTLO, empatically. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Apr 29 '21 at 1:52

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