80 year old woman without pilots license makes successful emergency landing after husband dies at the controls

AHN News Staff

Washington, United States (AHN) – You never know when you need to use your skills that you may have learnt 30 years ago.

An 80-year-old woman in Wisconsin on Tuesday made an emergency landing at Cherryland Airport when her pilot husband John Collins died on the small Cessna plane during the flight.

James Collins, son of Helen Collins and also a trained pilot, said that her mother took basic lessons to pilot a plane 30 years ago, adding that he and a local pilot Robert Vuksanovic guided her mother in landing the plane safely.

John and Helena Collins were returning from Florida from a holiday when the former suffered a heart attack, prompting Helena to immediately call the police and local pilot Robert Vuksanovic.

Recalling the distress call at a press conference, Vuksanovic said that he took to the air in a small plane to help Helena bring down the plane. He said that the Austin Straubel International Airport spotted Helena’s plane on radar about six miles south of Sturgeon Bay, flying at an altitude of 2,300 feet.

Vuksanovic said that Mrs Collins plane had only one functioning engine when it skidded down the runway for about 1,000ft. It also ran out of fuel.

John Collins, 81, was the president and founder of C&S Manufacturing, which builds parts for plumbing industries at the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park. The Ministry Door County Medical Center declared him dead shortly after the plane landed.

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