A quick thinking air traffic controller (ATC) in Ireland managed to guide a pilot down safely to Cork airport with a text message.

With reception proving too unreliable to dial a call, the ATC texted the pilot to inform him that the plane's wheels were now clearly visible thus allowing the plane to make its landing approach.

Fly-by text

A power failure had forced the pilot to lower the landing gear manually, but he had been unable to check whether the wheels were down and ready. He was then forced to fly-by the tower so that the ATC could check the landing gear.

"In this incident the positive and proactive initiative of the ATC controller, who, on realising that mobile audio communication from the pilot was intermittent, quickly switched to texting his instructions instead," John Hughes, air accident investigator said.

"This contributed to the safe resolution of the incident and, for such, the controller should be commended for his actions."