Student pilot forced to land plane after instructor collapses on first flying lesson

A student pilot was forced to go into "fight or flight" mode to make an emergency landing of a small aircraft on his first lesson after his instructor fell unconscious.

Max Sylvester was behind the controls of a single-propeller two-seat plane enjoying his first flying lesson when his instructor collapsed.

The trainee pilot said the incident was something you only hear about in the movies.

He was forced to call air traffic control in Perth, Australia and told the controller his instructor was leaning over his shoulder and he was having trouble keeping him up.

The trainee pilot made several passes before eventually landing safely at Jandakot Airport in Perth. Credit: AP

Mr Sylvester said: "It's a situation that you've been thrown in front of and you need to react. It was sort of fight or flight. That was it: adrenalin, and just my knowledge of flying that I love, so that's really all that kept us going. Because if I hadn't have studied, we wouldn't be here.

"It's as simple as that."

The controller guided Mr Sylvester through the landing after the trainee pilot told him it was his first lesson.

Emergency services at the scene of the airport where Mr Sylvester landed. Credit: AP

Mr Sylvester landed the plane safely at Jandakot Airport, after making several passes over the runway before touching down, according to local media.

"It is one of them things that you never ever hear about, you know, only in movies that you would hear that something like this happening," he said.

The instructor, from the Air Australia International flying school, was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition, local media reported.

Mr Sylvester's wife and three children were at the airport to watch his first lesson.