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SMS used to land plane

Rnwy 3 clr, lndin gr dwn, prepr 4 lnding

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In what could be a world first, an air-traffic controller (ATC) in Ireland has used text messaging to successfully bring home a stricken plane.

According to a report by the Irish Times, the ATC relayed landing instructions to the pilot of an aircraft that lost all electrical power shortly after taking off from Kerry, southwest Ireland.

The power failure forced the pilot to lower the twin-engined Piper plane’s landing gear manually. He then had to perform a fly-by of Cork airport's control tower, after which the ATC texted the pilot to let him know the wheels were successfully down.

Air accident investigator John Hughes praised the “proactive initiative of the ATC controller" who, "on realising that mobile audio communication from the pilot was intermittent, quickly switched to texting his instructions instead”.

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