The plane, carrying two people, issued a mayday call as it approached Humberside Airport in northeast England on Tuesday evening.
Flight instructors talked to the passenger from the ground and after several attempts the aircraft landed safely, although with a thump. Some witnesses described the plane bumping on the runway and sparks coming off the front of it.
Rob Murray, one of the flight instructors, said the passenger had never flown a plane before and had done a "remarkable job."
Police said Wednesday the passenger was unhurt but the pilot later died. Their names have not been released.