Most feel-good stories about passengers moving forward to land a plane are about small planes. This is a commercial jet.
Takeoffs and landings, the hardest part of flying, are still manual, even though airplanes mostly fly on autopilot.
Only seldom do jets take off and land on autopilot. Additionally, few aircraft models have such technology.
They claim takeoffs and landings are the hardest phase of the flight and why commercial jets crash most.
Pilots need mental and visual sharpness that an air traffic controller can't provide. A jet can't take off until it reaches liftoff speed, and a pilot must also keep the aircraft in the runway center.
Landing is more complicated. Pilots control aircraft direction and fall rate. The pilot must also check the landing gear and contact with air traffic control.
This is why commercial jet pilot training and license take so lengthy. Landing a commercial airplane without considerable training is unlikely, say experts.
Even with air traffic control, it's difficult. Some call it a learned skill.