Non-pilot Wife lands 414 after husband dies

Home 2024 Forums Opening Section Safety Issues & Accidents Non-pilot Wife lands 414 after husband dies

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #83741

    80 yo Helen Collins landed her husband, John’s 414, N53WT, after he died. This happened at Door County, Wisconsin. Mrs. Collins may have been injured. If anyone knows the Collins please send our condolences.
    http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/local/lakeshore/plane-makes-hard-landing-in-door-county

    #95777
    rtowe
    Participant

      I just read this, she even landed with one engine out…That woman deserves an award of some sort…This is a good reason why all of our wives should at least know how to land our airplanes in the event something happens…

      #95778
      bthomason
      Participant
        quote SGERBER:

        If anyone knows the Collins please send our condolences.

        They were not members, as far as I can tell. Remarkable performance.

        #95780

        This is quite a story. Mrs. Collins must be one cool lady under pressure.

        My wife used to be terrified when flying with me. She showed me this story too.

        We had a bad day when we lost power on our Bonanza 20 years ago after take-off and that did for her. She would not fly with me after that for 5 years. What turned her around was an AOPA “Pinch Hitter” seminar; after the seminar, she has been a relaxed and great traveler.

        I recall asking her what changed. She told me that before the seminar, she did not know what all the buttons and gauges were for and it scared her looking at the panel. After the seminar, she realized that she did not need to know much. Her take-away from the seminar was;

        1. If the plane does not have a shoulder strap for the pilot, have a rope or a long purse strap handy.
        2. Know where the AP annunciator is and how to determine if it is on/off.
        3. Know the make and model of the airplane.
        4. Know how to “key the mic” with a headset on for the radio.
        5. Know where the fuel gauges are.

        The rope or shoulder strap is to wrap around my neck and tie me off away from the controls (yikes). If the AP is not on, know how to turn it on and do that first. Put on a head set and key the mic and ask for help, someone will answer. Tell them the make and model of the plane and how much fuel is on board and say “I have an emergency”. Follow instructions and when the plane is over the runway and when the stones on the ground are visible, pull the power off and the plane will land.

        I asked her about me, she said they told her – “assume he is dead”.

        I made a cheat sheet with a picture of the my panel with items (from above) labeled and the simple to-do list as well as a short list of items on board like Garmin 530, 400B (which reminds me I need to update this with some changes) to help out those who are helping her. Others who fly with know about the “Pinch Hitter Checklist” and where it is too. Hope this is never needed.

        *

        #95781
        bthomason
        Participant
          quote JODAY:

          I made a cheat sheet with a picture of the my panel with items…

          Please post when you get it updated. This would be a useful template for all of us!

          #95796

          Here is the document I keep in my plane.

          I always am on an IFR flight plan so I assume the radio will already be tuned to ATC and in Radar Contact. I also think the best way to get over the end of a runway is with the AP doing the flying and the Pinch Hitter adjusting the power. I always have the FD on and synced.

          I don’t think the outcome would be very good if a non-pilot tried to let down through IMC or getting slowed and positioned to land without the AP engaged.

          I have questioned myself how bad it would end up pulling power off and letting the plane settle with the AP with GS still engaged. I assume it would keep it on the CL and level and with the wheels down the touchdown should be survivable. I always brief passenger on how to get out of the plane if I am not able to help.

          Anyway, I have this in the plane and hope it is never needed.

          I am very receptive to suggestions to improve this piece.

          Jim


          Attachments:

          #95797

          Oh my God, what a great job Jim!

          We all need one of this aboard. Thank God I have a 340 like yours.

          Rodolfo
          1978 C340A RAM VII

          #95837

          Another good example of why we only fly with two pilots in our 421 when carying pasengers, during my time flying the “heavy iron” I lost track of how many pilot incapacitation incidents came through in our company Safety Letter. This lady did a fantastic job under what must have been extreme stress, our hearts go out to her.

          #95838
          bthomason
          Participant

            I hesitate to bring this up. Feel free to jump on me if I’m being too harsh. Right after this accident, I read a news account that included an interview with the pilot’s son. He said his father said in a phone call just prior to the flight that he wasn’t feeling well. The son offered to come and pick his parents up but his father declined.

            The pilot obviously didn’t think anything was seriously wrong with himself or he wouldn’t have flown. On the other hand, at age 81, I think “not feeling well” takes on much more significance. On our FRAT, we give “Feeling ill, tired or under stress” a risk factor of 5. I think that at some point, as we age, “not feeling well” becomes a “no-go” item.

            What do you all think?

            #95847
            quote BThomason:

            The pilot obviously didn’t think anything was seriously wrong with himself or he wouldn’t have flown. On the other hand, at age 81, I think “not feeling well” takes on much more significance.

            On the other hand, being 81 and “not feeling well” may be near normal so I don’t know that it is any more or less “significant” than a 51 year old who doesn’t “feel well.” My view is that only the pilot can decide if they are fit for flight. FRAT is a nice tool, but the pilot still has to make a decision based on their level of risk acceptance…which is a very personal thing.

            To me, the more important point of this story is not about the pilot dying but about the spouse living! He made sure she had enough skill to get the plane down safely and I think that is the really useful lesson here.

            Just another opinion…
            Pete

            #95848

            During my previous life on the “Heavy Metal” the outfit I worked for did a study on “on duty mortality” which to our great suprise showed that the vast majority of such cases struck pilots in the 35 to 45 age bracket, so , two pilots are the solution if one is flying pax, just as two engines are better than one {that is of course if the pi;ots are trained to fly the aircraft with one out}

            #95849

            [quote=”RLORETTO”…struck pilots in the 35 to 45 age bracket…[/quote]

            Uh oh. I’m right in the sweet spot!

            Robert

            #95851

            Sorry about that Robert! Having made it to 74, still with a Cat One medical, I have no clue as to why so many of my fellow pilots have their own little plot of land, {apart from the smokers that is} but I suspect living on a farm and having parents who made it into their nineties has helped {hope Im not tempting fate with this!} also having grown up in wartime conditions, thus not too much over eating or rich foods may be a factor, In Canada the “Overweight Pilot” is becoming a risk factor being watched by our Safety Board, it behoves all pilots to try to watch their lifestyles methinks, not easy given the presures in our society these days, now back outside to a very high risk ocupation, chainsawing!

            #95853

            I know who will be my next AME.

            Just kidding 😉

            Rodolfo
            1978 C340A RAM VII

            #95854
            bthomason
            Participant
              quote :

              the more important point of this story is not about the pilot dying but about the spouse living! He made sure she had enough skill to get the plane down safely and I think that is the really useful lesson here.

              Agreed! My wife did a Pinch Hitter course many years ago, but I think it’s time for another one. Right now she wouldn’t have a clue with my new panel!

            Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
            • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.