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Teen-Ager Lands Plane After Pilot Collapses

November 24, 1986

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) _ A teen-aged pilot with no experience in turboprop aircraft successfully landed one Monday after the pilot collapsed at the controls, company and aviation officials reported.

An Aviation Department spokesman said Peter Spalding, 19, of Melbourne landed the Nomad turboprop of Sun City Airlines at the Broken Hill airport 380 miles west of here, following radio instructions from a pilot on the ground and another in the air.

A spokesman for the airline said Spalding and the pilot, Lester McDougal, were the only people on the plane, which was carrying freight from Mildura to Broken Hill.

Spalding completed a flight training course and has 150 hours of flying time but no experience in turboprops, the Aviation Department spokesman said. The Sun City Airlines spokesman said Spalding was a qualified pilot employed by the airline.

According to the government spokesman, McDougal collapsed as he was taking the aircraft into the landing pattern, then Spalding asked by radio for assistance and landed the plane under instructions. McDougal was taken to a hospital, but no information was available on his condition.

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