On Monday, 80-year-old Helen Collins and her husband took off together in a small twin-engine plane. The Wisconsin couple had spent hundreds of hours flying together with John piloting and his wife by his side. In an instant, Monday's flight turned into a nightmare when her husband suffered a fatal heart attack and lost consciousness at the controls.
Collins, who doesn't have a pilot's license, took charge of the plane, low on fuel, and began attempting an emergency landing at Cherryland Airport, about 150 miles north of Milwaukee. Friends on the ground made contact and provided guidance and reassurance.
Seven minutes after he was alerted to the situation, pilot Robert Vuksanovic was in the air, serving as a model and escort for Collins. With step-by-step instructions, she landed the aircraft despite another challenge: the right engine was out. The improvised flight lesson from Vuksanovic combined with Collins' familiarity with the controls helped get her to the ground.
The plane bounced hard off the runway and skidded about 100 feet. With minor injuries, Collins made it down safely. Her calm in the crisis and heroic maneuvering were all captured on audio and video recordings.
ANNE-MARIE, THANK YOU for pointing out the fact that the male is getting much of the attention, not the woman. I am a pilot, too, and while verbally guiding a non-pilot (although she did have a lot of flying time w/her husband) through approach and landing is challenging, flying the plane under such circumstances with her dead husband by her side is nothing short of heroic. That woman is amazing.
Anne-Marie, not to take anything away from what this amazing lady did...because it was amazing! However, a hero saves lives...He saved her life, she didn't save his.
she is my hero
What a wonderful, yet sad story. Being the wife of a pilot, I learned enough to land a plane in an emergency, but that was single engine small plane. I am not sure I could do what this 80 year old lady did. Many kudos go to her.
What an amazing story...why to go grandma!!!!
"Monday's flight turned into a nightmare when her husband suffered a fatal heart attack " – think he passed...
Hey CNN, what happened to the husband? Is he ok now?
The story said the husband had a "fatal" heart attack. So I don't think so.
At the end of the segment we were told that he was pronounced dead. Did you not watch it?
"when her husband suffered a fatal heart attack " :(
Hey, Michael. in the first paragraph, it says that her husband had a fatal heart attack. That is a clue.
"...fatal heart attack..."
He is still dead from the fatal heart attack
FATAL Heart attack... read the story :)
"her husband suffered a fatal heart attack"
article says – "fatal heart attack" :-(
He died at the hospital, unfortunately.
The article said "fatal" heart attack. That means he's dead.
No he died as it says he had a massive heart attack and was in the air and could not get treatment
Usually when they say "fatal heart attack" it means that the heart attack was fatal – as in it killed him...
fatal heart attack means he died
Husband suffered a fatal heart attack.
Impressive, Tears for her loss, Cudos for her Grit.....
As usual, men get all the credit.
I mean this guy was amazing, he is a hero, but what about the 80 year old woman? CALL HER A HERO TOO ANDERSON COOPER, just like this pilot did. She landed the plane kept it together, followed instructions with her dead husband next to her.
And what about the HERO wife of this pilot, whose name is not mentioned? She is the one who verbally guided the 80 on what to do.
DAMN IT, GIVE THE WOMEN IN THIS CASE MORE CREDIT THAN THE MAN. WOMEN ARE HEROs too. YES THEY ARE. DON"T BE AFRAID OF THAT. IT DOESN"T MAKE YOU LESS OF A MAN.
Apparently you did not watch the segment by Randi Kaye, a woman, where the wife was praised by all, including the pilot that talked her down.
Heros, regardless of their own sex, save other peoples lives. Did she do that?
That is one tough lady !
Wonderful story! So sorry that she lost her husband though.
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