Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2009- A Beech King Air B200 departed Marco Island, Florida bound for Louisiana with 5 souls on board. Soon after takeoff, an emergency situation developed that required extraordinary measures by the planes passengers and Air TrafficSaving four lives. A passenger, Doug White landed a twin-engine plane at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers after the pilot died in flight.
White, 56, a private pilot with about 230 hours flight time in single-engine Cessna 172s sat in the right seat of a chartered King Air 200 with his wife and two teenaged daughters in the passenger cabin. White, owner of an equipment leasing company, had learned to fly in 1991 but set flying aside immediately after obtaining a private pilot certificate.
Federal Aviation Administration officials said the pilot died on Sunday after taking off from Marco Island Executive Airport. The plane was on autopilot and climbing past 10,000 feet when the pilot died. The passenger who took the controls has been licensed for single-engine planes for 20 years, but was not certified to fly the King Air plane, a large luxury model. To instruct him, an air traffic controller called a friend in Connecticut who is rated to fly the aircraft. The plane landed safely.
Controller: You using the autopilot or are you flying the airplane?
9DW: Me and the Good Lord are hand flying this. Niner Delta Whiskey.
Oh HELL YES!! The next guy that calls this Hero a redneck gets one in the kisser.