21-year-old rookie pilot pulls off emergency landing after wheel comes off in flight

It was Friday at the Oakland County International Airport in Waterford and a 21-year-old rookie pilot was getting ready for her third solo flight.

"Pre-flight the aircraft as normal, I checked that everything was good, did an exterior check and everything looked great," said Taylor Hash. "I got in the plane, started the engine up, called on the radio and asked for clearance to taxi to the runway. Everything was perfectly fine."

And everything was great - until it wasn’t.

Another pilot getting ready for take-off noticed something was wrong. He radioed air traffic control, who in turn radioed Taylor.

"Diamond 8 Charlie you lost your front nose gear tire on rotation and that’s definitely how it appears out the window," the operator told her.

And then another calming voice - that other pilot who noticed the problem.

"Taylor this is Chris, my daughter's name is Taylor, and I taught her to fly," he said over the radio. "We’re gonna be just fine kiddo."

Chris Yates, a stranger, and veteran pilot from out of state — suddenly became Taylor’s guardian angel.

"Just having someone to have a conversation with me, and not be so official with the aviation language - is was just calming. It was perfect and just what I needed in that moment," she said.

Through the radio Chris gave Taylor instructions on how to land the plane without that front wheel, all while asking her questions and cheering her on.

"I’m going about 67 knots right now," she said on the radio.

"Perfect, hold it, you look good, you’re doing great kiddo," Chris Yates said over the radio.

"Those couple minutes were intense - my most important landing to date was that one and probably will be my most important landing ever," she said.

"That’s it kid, nice job, the nose is gonna come down, you’re ok, you’re ok, talk to me kid, proud of you," he said over the radio.

She said she feels a flood of emotions from the incident.

"When I go back and listen to it I cry. It was an emotional day to say the least."

FOX 2:  "The million-dollar question is, are you going to fly again?"

"Yes 100 percent," she said. "I tell everyone, when I was in the air, though all that, I told myself  I’m done, this is it. I'm not doing this again. But as soon as I got on the ground and I realized everything was okay, and I was okay, I realized, you know I'm meant to do this."