Pilot Helps Solo Student Flier Land Safely After the Wheel Falls Off the Aircraft Mid-Flight

“We’re gonna be fine, kiddo.” Those were the words used to bring rookie pilot Taylor Hash back down to safety after a harrowing flight gone wrong. The 21-year-old had taken off in a small, 2-seat, single-engine Diamond DA20-C1 after it passed a pre-flight inspection. From what Taylor could tell, this was going to be a routine training flight like all the others she had made. She asked for clearance to taxi to the runway, and everything was fine…….or so she thought. Fortunately, pilot Chris Yates had his eyes to the sky and was able to see that everything was definitely not fine. He noticed that the plane had lost its nose wheel tire after takeoff, which would have made landing the plane extremely dangerous. Yates immediately alerted air traffic control, who then contacted Taylor. Sensing that the student pilot needed further guidance, Yates spoke with Taylor directly, providing her with instructions each step of the way. Taylor managed to land the plane, with the nose tilted towards the ground. She said that hearing comforting words from Yates helped her to remain calm and focused. She says she’s not done flying and isn’t going to let this one incident keep her grounded.