Passenger lands plane after pilot falls sick

Passenger lands plane after pilot falls sick

A passenger landed a private plane at Raleigh-Durham International Airport after the pilot suffered a medical issue Sunday.

The pilot, Joe Izatt, was the the Michael J. Fitzpatrick Professor of Engineering and chair of Duke’s Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME). His research focused on the use of technology to send light into tissues, particularly inside the eyes, for diagnosing eye diseases, according to his faculty profile on the university's site.

It's not clear what kind of medical emergency Izatt suffered during the flight, but he passed away, and the university lowered flags on campus in his honor.

Hafeez Dhalla, a Duke professor who also studied under Izatt, said, "Beyond all of the sort of technical accolades, what stands out for Joe is the community that he built. Just an incredibly tight-knit community of accomplished scientists who hold him in very high esteem."

On Monday, Duke released a statement, saying, "Since joining Duke in 2001, Izatt served the university through dedicated service to his students and colleagues, and as a pioneering researcher. During his tenure as chair of Duke BME, he championed the successes of all within the community and worked with faculty, staff and students to ensure the department supported their goals.

"In a message to the Duke Engineering community, Pratt School Dean Jerome Lynch celebrated Izatt’s career and leadership. 'He was an exceptionally thoughtful leader who weighed every decision with a care that originated with his deep love for the BME community. The integrity and humility he brought as a school leader will be missed.'”

The passenger who executed the landing was the only other person on board Sunday when the small aircraft, a Cirrus SR-20, landed on a secondary runway near the general aviation terminal at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

According to RDU, all runways remained open and there was no impact on airport operations.

The plane is registered to Izatt and Coherent Aviation, based in Raleigh.

Izatt leaves behind a wife and three children, sources tell WRAL News.

Duke's statement reiterated, "This is a significant loss for the academic community Izatt championed, and the impact of his legacy will be felt for years to come."


citizen digital citizentv kenya

Want to send us a story? SMS to 25170 or WhatsApp 0743570000 or Submit on Citizen Digital or email

Leave a Comment


No comments yet.

latest stories