Massachusetts teen pilot make emergency landing


“I realized like I’m all alone. There’s no one that can take over for me and do it. I have to do it myself.”

Most 17-year-olds are likely trying to avoid homework. Maggie Taraska spent those terrifying moments relying on the homework she’d done.

“You have to go back to the basics and remember what you’re doing and how you’re going to it,” said Taraska.

It was Sunday afternoon when the high school senior took off from the Beverly airport. 

“I heard something and I kinda just felt something and I felt something was wrong instinctively,” said Taraska.

Her right wheel had somehow fallen off and what went up must come down.

Radio: “We’re going to get some people out to help you, okay?” “Okay.”

Air traffic control was able to get Maggie’s flight instructor on the line.

“I always tell my students aviate, navigate, communicate. It’s the old saying, but it really pays off,” said Flight Instructor John Singleton.

“When I saw the flashing lights, I kind of realized that a lot of people thought it wasn’t going to so well,” said Taraska.

Never underestimate a teenager. With just 60-hours under her belt, Maggie landed with the precision of a more experienced pilot.

“I thought I was going to flip. I didn’t. It was a little bumpy. I hit a few signs,” said Taraska.

So what did Maggie learn in those 45-minutes she circled high above? Just keep going.

“Bad things happen all the time and it can’t deter you from doing what you want to do and what you love,” said Taraska.

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