A young pilot in Michigan found herself in a frightening situation after realizing she had to make an emergency landing without part of her landing gear.
Taylor Hash, 21, took off in Pontiac on March 17 and the Clinton Township resident soon learned she would have to land without her front tire.
“It was definitely the scariest moment I’ve had, probably in my life,” the rookie pilot told TODAY.
When Hash asked the control tower over the radio how best to make the emergency landing at a Michigan small airport, the young pilot said she felt frantic.
A stranger nearby would soon help calm her down.
‘What’s your name?’
Chris Yates, the former director of aviation at SpaceX, was in the air when he saw pieces of landing gear fall from her plane.
“What’s your name?” Yates asked the young pilot, according to audio obtained by Today
“Taylor,” she responded.
The veteran pilot immediately paused then began speaking again.
“Taylor, this is Chris,” he said. “My daughter’s name is Taylor and I taught her to fly. We’re going to be just fine, kiddo.”
Yates stayed on the radio to provide words of encouragement as she safely made her way to the ground.
“Atta girl, I’m proud of you!” he is heard saying over the air.
“As soon as he said that… the waterworks came,” she told the outlet. Meanwhile, Yates said, the moment brought tears to his eyes as well.
Neither Hash nor Yates could be reached by USA TODAY on Friday.
In August Hash posted on Facebook about making her first solo flight. Friday’s flight was her third solo trip.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.