Monday, April 02, 2012

Cessna 414A Chancellor, C And S Manufacturing Corp., N53WT: Accident occurred April 02, 2012 at Door County Cherry Land Airport (KSUE), Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

  Regis#: 53WT        Make/Model: C414      Description: 414, Chancellor
  Date: 04/02/2012     Time: 2247

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

  City: STURGEON BAY                State: WI   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   2     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: MILWAUKEE, WI  (GL13)                 Entry date: 04/03/2012 

The pilot who helped an 80-year-old woman land a twin-engine plane after her husband suffered a fatal attack Monday is among Door County officials who will participate in a 1 p.m. news conference today.

Robert Vuksanovic of Sturgeon Bay joined Helen Collins in the sky and helped guide her to the ground after her husband, John, became unresponsive while piloting the plane, according to a sheriff’s report released this morning.

John Collins, 81, was pronounced dead at Ministry Door County Medical Center shortly after the plane landed at Cherryland Airport. He was the president and founder of C&S Manufacturing, which builds parts for the HVAC and plumbing industries at the Sturgeon Bay Industrial Park.

According to the report, Helen Collins radioed at about 5:05 p.m. when the Cessna aircraft was about five or six miles south of Sturgeon Bay at 2,300 feet. Airport manager Keith Kasbohm contacted Vuksanovic and his wife, Catherine, both licensed pilots, who came to the airport and began speaking to Mrs. Collins via radio.

“It was decided that Robert would get another aircraft airborne to shadow the distressed aircraft and Catherine would communicate from the ground with Helen,” the report said.

The two aircraft did several fly-by maneuvers as practice runs prior to attempting a landing at about 6:09 p.m. The plane touched down roughly, bounced once and then hit the ground nose first, skidding across a grassy area and coming to rest on its nose.

Southern Door Fire Department and Door County EMS crews attended to the Collinses, who were transported to the hospital. Helen Collins complained of back pain, while John Collins was still unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at 6:38 p.m.
Earlier story: Rescuers help woman land plane after pilot husband suffers fatal attack

A Sturgeon Bay area woman maneuvered a plane to safety after her husband, who was piloting the plane, suffered a medical emergency and lost consciousness.

Authorities were notified at about 5 p.m. that a twin-engine Cessna airplane about six miles south of Sturgeon Bay had declared an emergency. After the 81-year-old pilot became unconscious, his wife, 80, who is not a pilot, began to operate the plane.

In an attempt to successfully land the plane at the Door County Cherryland Airport, a certified pilot was placed into a second plane flying next to the distressed plane and was able to provide instruction to the woman.

The woman notified rescuers at about 6 p.m. that her right engine had lost power because it ran out of fuel and she needed to land immediately.

She suffered minor injuries upon landing and was taken by ambulance to Ministry Door County Medical Center. Her husband also was transported to the hospital because of his original medical condition, where he was pronounced dead.

Emergency crews from several agencies were called to the scene, and the incident is under investigation. The Door County Sheriff’s Department did not release the name of the couple, who are from the Sturgeon Bay area, Monday night.

STURGEON BAY - Door County officials have released the names of the people involved in a hard landing at the Door County Cherryland Airport Monday night.

The sheriff's office says John D. Collins, 81, was piloting the plane when he suffered a medical problem and passed out. His wife, Helen C. Collins, 80, took over. Both were from Sturgeon Bay. Helen Collins did not have any flying experience, but landed with the help of another husband-and-wife team of pilots. They were identified as Robert and Catherine Vuksanovic.

The plane bounced once before landing on a grassy area. Helen Collins was taken to the hospital complaining of back pain. John Collins was also taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Officials said the couple were returning from Florida and had made a stop in Georgia on their way back. The initial distress call was received just after 5 p.m. at Austin Straubel Airport in Ashwaubenon.

The plane was registered to C & S Manufacturing of Sturgeon Bay. The company's website lists a John D. Collins as president and CEO.

A news conference has been scheduled for 1 p.m. to discuss details of the situation. The Vuksanovics are expected to attend.

It was a mid-air emergency over Door County. An 80-year-old Sturgeon Bay woman was forced to land a twin-engine plane after her pilot husband suffered a medical problem during the flight.

"She took over the aircraft, she's not a licensed pilot and knows very little about flying aircraft," Sheriff Terry Vogel said.

The Door County Sheriff's Department says the twin-engine plane declared an emergency about six miles south of Sturgeon Bay.

Authorities say the 81-year-old pilot suffered a medical emergency and was unconscious, forcing his wife to take the controls.

In an attempt to land her safely, a certified pilot took off in a second plane and was able to provide instructions to the woman on the proper handling of the plane.

After running out of fuel in the right engine, she made a final approach at Door County Cherryland Airport and was able to land the plane.

Torry Lautenbach described watching from his home as the plane circled the airport and her first attempt at landing "at Mach 1" then pulling up. He said on her final landing the plane hopped twice then the nose gear collapsed, but she kept the plane skidding straight down the runway.

"She must have flew at least ten times around," Lautenbach said, "but she did a good job."

"I think there was a lot of thought and work that went into it," Sheriff Vogel said.

The woman was taken to the hospital for minor injuries suffered during the landing.

Her husband was pronounced dead as a result of his medical condition at an area hospital.

An 80-year-old woman from the Sturgeon Bay area took control of a twin-engine plane in the skies over Door County Monday evening when her 81-year-old husband who was piloting the aircraft was fatally stricken.

The woman is not a pilot but managed to land the plane with the help of a pilot who took off from the Door County Cherry Land Airport in another aircraft to fly next to her and give her a quick flight lesson.

The midair drama started at 5:06 p.m. Monday when the Door County Sheriff's dispatch center learned someone in a Cessna plane had declared an emergency.

The plane was about six miles south of Sturgeon Bay at the time. Dispatchers were told the pilot had suffered a medical emergency and was unconscious and the plane was being flown by the passenger who is not a pilot.

An hour later, at 6:05 p.m., the woman radioed rescue personnel and told them her right engine had lost power when the fuel ran out and she needed to land immediately. She made the final approach, and with the help of the pilot in the other plane, successfully landed the aircraft.

She was slightly injured in the landing and taken to Ministry Door County Medical Center in Sturgeon Bay where a Door County Sheriff's dispatcher said her condition was not known. Her husband was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The couple's names were not released Monday night.

FAA investigators were notified to assist in the investigation.

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