The man who became Helen Collins wing man & guided her to a successful landing isn’t taking total credit for pulling off the emergency event Monday afternoon. In fact, at a news conference held at the Door County Justice Center Tuesday afternoon, Rob Vuksonavec of Sturgeon Bay acted as if it were no big deal, praising Helen Collins for bringing the emergency to a positive conclusion…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/N558.mp3|titles=Rob Vuksonavec]
Yet his calm demeanor, confident tone, piloting skills & more than 30 years of flight experience were key to helping Mrs. Collins bring the two engine Cessna onto the runway with little difficulty. Vuksonavec & his wife, Catherine, herself a flight instructor, were asked by Cherryland Airport manager Keith Kasbohm to come to the airport as quickly as possible because Mrs. Collins was attempting to fly the plane alone & was not a pilot. Her husband, who had piloted the aircraft from Florida, was unconscious. Vuksonavec told WDOR that everything from concerns about lack of fuel & windy conditions went through his mind while he was trying to talk her down…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/N559.mp3|titles=Rob Vuksonavec]
In the final analysis, Vuksonavec said three priorities guided his decision making Monday…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/N560.mp3|titles=Rob Vuksonavec]
And, while the experience will be added to a list of a half a dozen other successful incidents involving help for pilots in trouble, Vuksonavec did point out, with a wry smile, that there is a reason why there are no old flight instructors.