Veteran Aviator and Student Pilot He Helped Land After She Lost Her Nose Gear Take to the Skies Together
Chris Yates and Taylor Hash bonded after veteran pilot Yates helped guide student pilot Hash through an emergency landing in the wake of the loss of her landing wheel. Inside Edition was there for the first time the pair flew together.
It was a story that gripped the nation: a student pilot whose landing wheel had fallen off being guided down to the runway by an experienced pilot on the ground. On that fateful day, a promise was made that one day they would take to the sky together. And Inside Edition was there when that day for Taylor Hash and Chris Yates finally came.
Hash, 21, was on her third solo flight in Pontiac, Michigan, and preparing to land when unbeknownst to her, the nose gear had fallen off.
“I had no indication of it. I didn’t hear anything,” she previously told Inside Edition.
Yates, a veteran pilot and former director of aviation at SpaceX, saw the nose gear on Hash's single-engine plane drop onto the runway. He alerted air traffic control, who notified Hash that her entire front wheel assembly was on the runway before connecting her to Yates, who was able to safely guide Hash through her emergency crash landing.
“He made it feel like I had known him forever, you know? He was just so calming,” Hash told Inside Edition not long after the landing.
And now, the two have gotten to meet in person, thanks to Inside Edition.
“It’s just surreal,” Hash tells Inside Edition on finally meeting Yates.
Yates, who has 15,000 flight hours, was preparing to take off from an airport when he realized he had to help. “I learned it was a student pilot and she was alone,” he says.
“I was terrified,” Hash says of the ordeal, but Yates noted she knew what she was doing.
“What really struck me was her control of the plane,” he says.
As he guided her down that day, Yates could be heard asking Hash if she would be a career pilot, and she replied that she was planning on it.
“This is a good start,” he told her. “This is a good start to your legacy, kid.”
Yates also let Hash know that she and his daughter share a name, saying through the radio, “My daughter’s name is Taylor and I taught her to fly. We’re gonna be just fine kiddo.”
Since the ordeal, Hash and Yates’ daughter Taylor have also bonded. The pair now call each other sisters.
And now Hash and Yates can add “co-pilots” to their list of bonding experiences.
The pair first inspected the Cessna 180 they planned to fly before taking off in Boulder City, Nevada.
“I just can’t believe I’m out here in your plane, flying with you,” Hash says while in the plane. “This is nuts.”
Yates took Hash on a few passes before putting her to work.
Calling the experience “surreal,” Hash tells Inside Edition, “I have no words for it. I’m speechless.”
The pair then made a picture-perfect landing on a lakebed.
“It just brought it full circle, to meet her, see her smile,” Yates says.
After all she’s experienced and accomplished, Hash has earned her wings, which Yates says he plans to pin on her.
“That’s awesome, means the world coming from you,” she says.
Yates also created a GoFundMe campaign to help Hash reach her goal of becoming a professional pilot. To date, more than $21,000 of the page’s $100,000 goal has been raised.
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