It was a remarkable example of courage in the face of death in the skies above Door County Monday evening as an 80 year old Sturgeon Bay woman, with no flight experience, took the controls of an airplane & made a rough landing at the Cherryland Airport, her husband laying unconscious next to her. Helen Collins walked away from the two engine aircraft with minor injuries. Her 81 year old husband, John Collins, a well known Sturgeon Bay businessman, was pronounced dead at Ministry Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay. Southern Door fire chief Chuck Cihlar says it was unclear how the situation would end when his department was paged out shortly after 5PM Monday…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/N553.mp3|titles=Chuck Cihlar]
Chief Cihlar paid tribute to Robert Vuksanovic, the 53 year old pilot & Sturgeon Bay resident who helped Helen Collins bring the plane down safely…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/N554.mp3|titles=Chuck Cihlar]
Cihlar said firefighters surrounded the aircraft to insure there was no fire & the occupants were taken off the plane without incident. A Door County ambulance transported them to Ministry Door County Medical Center. After it was over, Door County sheriff, Terry Vogel brought the incident into perspective…[audio:http://wdor.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/N555.mp3|titles=Sheriff Terry Vogel]
The FAA is assisting with the investigation of the emergency landing at the Cherrland Airport Monday.