PORTLAND — Two air traffic controllers at the Portland International Jetport are being recognized for saving a New Hampshire pilot who became disoriented in bad weather.

The ordeal had a happy ending when Kevin Plante and Chris Presley helped the pilot follow local landmarks and highways to the airport in October. They were honored this week by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association at the union’s awards banquet in Florida.

Pilot Rich Townsend of Barrington, N.H., said he found himself in over his head as weather conditions deteriorated after he left the Fryeburg Fair.

He said today that clouds created illusions that caused him to fly in circles instead of on a straight path. He credits the controllers for keeping him calm.

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