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80-Year-Old Woman Lands Plane When Pilot, Her Husband, Dies At Controls

04/ 2/12 10:29 PM ET AP

Wisconsin Landing
An 80-year-old Wisconsin woman with no flying experience was able to successfully land a plane when the pilot, her husband, lost consciousness at the controls.

STURGEON BAY, Wis. — An 80-year-old woman was able to successfully land a twin-engine airplane in northeastern Wisconsin after her husband became unconscious at the controls and died.

Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel says the dispatch center was told just after 5 p.m. Monday that a Cessna about 6 miles south of Sturgeon Bay had declared an emergency.

The pilot, an 81-year-old man from the Sturgeon Bay area, had suffered a medical emergency and was unconscious. His wife, who was the passenger, was flying the plane.

A certified pilot was able to fly alongside the plane and coach the wife. Just after 6 p.m., her right engine ran out of fuel and lost power.

She was able to land at Door County Cherryland Airport. The wife suffered minor injuries. Her husband was pronounced dead.

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Filed by Hilary Hanson  |