Unknown Aircraft: "Hello?.."
Easterwood Tower (me): "Please say again."
ET: "Who is this?"
UA: "This is Joe"
ET: "This is Easterwood Tower, where are you?"
UA: "I'm in the plane!"
(I looked down the flight line, checking if someone was sitting in a parked plane playing with the radio. I didn't see anything, and the senior controller was becoming more interested in my handling of the situation.)
ET: "Joe, where is the pilot?"
UA: "He got out when the engine quit.."
(I could only imagine a bizarre scenario in which the pilot had jumped from the plane.)
ET: "Joe, what does your airspeed indicator read?"
UA: (Long pause) "Zero?"
(So the plane was now in a stall I thought.)
ET: "Joe, whatever you have in front of you - a stick or a steering wheel - push it forward - you need to get airspeed over your wings!"
UA: "Are you sure?"
ET: "Yes Joe you need to push it forward... (pause)... What does your airspeed indicator read now?"
UA: "It's still zero."
(I thought, oh my god, Joe's plane was in a falling leaf spin. I couldn't help him. Joe was going to die. I did not know what to do. I looked to the senior controller. He said, "Ask him where his plane is.")
ET: "Joe, where is your plane?"
UA: "We are parked down at the end of the runway, the pilot got out when the engine quit and walked back to the hanger.."
ET: "Joe, get off the radio.