An elderly woman landed a twin-engine plane to safety after her pilot husband who was at the controls of the aircraft fell unconscious during mid-air, the Telegraph said.
Eighty-year-old John Collins from Wisconsin fatally suffered a heart attack in the cockpit, leaving his wife Helen Collins, 80, to take charge of the aircraft. Despite the plane nearly running out of fuel, Helen, with the assistance from her pilot son James Collins over the radio, successfully landed the Cessna at the Cherryland Airport Monday evening.
Local pilot Robert Vuksanovic was also called in to guide the Wisconsin woman, rolling out instructions to her until she touched ground. At the time, Helen was nearly close to landing, one engine had completely failed and the second one was sputtering. However, Helen managed to keep the plane straight as she made a hard landing which damaged the nose wheel.
Astonishingly, Helen doesn't own a license to operate a plane though she had taken flying lessons around thirty years ago. Her ability to pilot the aircraft may have come from the hours of flying by her husband's side.
You think she had done it all her life, James Collins, who is extremely proud of his mother's actions, told the Telegraph.
James described how his mother kept her wits throughout the situation: At one point she didn't even want the wingman to go up. She said, Don't you guys think I could do this on my own? Don't you have confidence in me?' She was calmer than everybody on the ground. She had it totally under control, James said in statement on the publication.
Soon after the incident, the elderly couple was rushed to the hospital, where John was pronounced dead. Helen reportedly suffered injuries to vertebrae.
The Collins were on their way from Marco Islands in Florida to celebrate Easter in Wisconsin, the report said.