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Audio recording of 80 year old woman landing Cessna 414 after husband dies

Listen as Helen Collins lands her Cessna 414 with the help of pilot Robert Vuksanovic after her husband dies at the controls.

Excerpt the from the original story in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

Robert Vuksanovic was in his backyard about a mile from the Door County Cherryland Airport when he saw a plane fly low and slow overhead and when he noticed the flaps were not up or the landing gear down, he knew something was wrong. A few minutes later his phone rang and he was asked to come to the airport.

When he arrived, Vuksanovic learned the midair crisis involved the plane he had just seen circling overhead. Within seven minutes Vuksanovic was in the air in another plane owned by the Collinses that was parked at the airport.

He gave Helen Collins an impromptu lesson in landing a plane and then helped guide her to the ground.

“OK, this is going to be a little bit of a flight lesson, but you’ll enjoy it,” Vuksanovic told Collins.

If you have ever helped your mother fix her computer (I have) you probably know exactly how Helen’s son must have felt as he talked to his mother unsure where she was now headed. (captured in the recording). 🙂

Thank god Helen was able to keep calm. No doubt, the hours of flying with her husband helped.

I am sorry for her loss but I am sure her husband would be proud of her performance.

Complete audio files:

The communications were posted on the website of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Click here to LISTEN TO THE FULL AUDIO RECORDING Jump ahead to the 25 minute mark for the best parts.

Flight recordings released: wwlp.com

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  • Bwritr211

    Really cool story, Mike. 

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Amanda Michelle (Younkin) Franklin 3/14/1986 – 5/27/2011 Click for information on Amanda