An 80-year-old woman took control of a small plane when her husband, who was flying the aircraft, passed out. The plane was reportedly dangerously low on fuel as she landed the plane onto a runway at a northeastern Wisconsin facility.
Around 5:06 p.m., Door County sheriff's dispatch learned that someone in a Cessna plane said she was involved in an emergency situation, reported the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel. They were told that a passenger needed to fly the plane because the pilot suffered a medical emergency.
Helen Collins from Sturgeon Bay, Wis. is not a pilot. However, after her 81-year-old husband became incapacitated she needed to become one.
Approximately 6:05 p.m., Collins radioed rescue personnel to tell them her right engine was losing power because fuel was running out. She explained the dire circumstances of situation and said she needed to land the plan.
As she began making a final approach another pilot took off from Door County Cherry Land Airport. The pilot flew alongside her, giving her flight a quick tutorial, reported the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
She was remarkable on the radio, said Kasbohm, according to Reuters. She kept her composure and sounded like she had been a pilot for years. She knew what to do when they told her 'flaps down, increase the throttle, increase the trim.' She was doing it well.
Cherryland Airport director Keith Kasbohm said the plane skidded approximately 1,000 feet before it completely stopped.
She bounced the plane about 35 feet and the nose gear collapsed on the second impact, Kasbohm said. She skidded and came to rest on the runway.
After she landed the plane, Collins reportedly suffered from slight injuries, but her husband was pronounced dead at the hospital, reported the Christian Science Monitor.