Elderly woman landed plane after her pilot husband died

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An elderly woman with little flying experience took control of a small plane from her husband, who passed out and landed at a northeastern Wisconsin airport Monday, her son told the Associated Press.

Helen Collins, 80, remained calm when her 81-year-old husband, John Collins died of heart attack during their flight from Marco Island, Fla., according to the Associated Press. In addition, the Cessna twin-engine plane was running out of gas at that time, the Associated Press said.

Robert Vuksanovic, a pilot living a mile from the airport flew up to assist Helen Collins to "control her speed and attitude," Keith Kasbohm, director of Cherryland Airport near Sturgeon Bay, told Fox News. Helen Collins called 911 when her husband passed out, "prompting air traffic controllers in Green Bay to alert Kasbohm," according to Fox News.

Helen Collins was hospitalized with injury in her vertebrae and rib, her son James Collins told the Associated Press on phone. James Collins, who was also a pilot, also assisted his mother in landing the plane via radio, he told the Associated Press.

"Everybody is proud of her," James Collins told the Associated Press. "She was calmer than everybody on the ground."

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This page contains a single entry by Veronica Ho published on April 3, 2012 6:53 PM.

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