Wife of pilot lands plane as husband goes unconscious; pilot now dead

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Wife of pilot lands plane as husband goes unconscious; pilot now dead

By The Associated Press with Jay Sorgi. CREATED Apr 2, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 3, 2012

STURGEON BAY - 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.

John Collins, 81, was the pilot.  He was from Sturgeon Bay.

Collins 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.