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Emergency services gathered at Humberside Airport, north Lincolnshire, yesterday evening after the passenger in the light aircraft had to land it with the help of two instructors from the ground, an airport spokesman said.
"The emergency was declared at 6.20pm by the pilot of a two-seater aircraft. Shortly afterwards he was taken ill and became unable to fly it and that responsibility then fell to his passenger.
"Humberside International Airport put into operation their emergency plan. The passenger flew over the airport a couple of times and then was talked down by two flight instructors and the emergency services were waiting for them when he landed safely," the spokesman said.
Although the landing was described as "heavy", it was said to be normal.
It is thought the pair, who have yet to be named, left a small airfield near Doncaster early yesterday morning on a flight training day.
Roy Murray, one of the flight instructors who helped the passenger land the plane, told the BBC the passenger had no flying experience and did a "remarkable job".
He said. "He made quite a good landing actually. He didn't know the layout of the aeroplane, he didn't have lights on so he was absolutely flying blind as well.
"I think he'd flown once before as a passenger but never flown an aeroplane before."