Reuters - Video

Edition: U.S. | U.K. | IN | CN | JP

Top News

80-year-old lands plane after husband dies at controls

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - 01:11

April 4 - 80-year-old Helen Collins takes control of a small airplane and lands it, after her husband - the pilot - dies mid-flight. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

An 80-year-old woman with very little flight experience took over the controls after her pilot husband's fatal collapse, landing this twin-engine plane as it was running out of gas Tuesday. Helen Collins and her husband, John, were both taken to the hospital. He was pronounced dead, while she was held for observation. A local pilot took off in his own plane to guide her down. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBERT VUKSANOVIC, PILOT WHO HELPED ADVISE 80-YEAR-OLD HELEN COLLINS, SAYING: "She was confident. Now, she wanted to know if I was confident in her confidence. And I said, 'Well if you're confident, and I'm confident. I think we're confident. I think we can do this.' And so she felt confident enough to concentrate on flying the airplane. And I think she was able to just move that issue to the side until the landing occurred." She landed hard on the third try, collapsing the nose gear, but skidding to a stop with the plane intact. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

80-year-old lands plane after husband dies at controls

Wednesday, April 04, 2012 - 01:11