Pilot Lands Plane Before Dying
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LOS ANGELES – A pilot who suffered a heart attack managed to make a perfect emergency landing on a highway in Utah and save the lives of his three passengers before he died.
Jack Francis, 61, was flying a single-engine Cessna 185 carrying his wife and another couple from Jackpot, Nevada, to Utah on Sunday morning.
Despite suffering the attack, he brought the aircraft down on a remote stretch of highway near Park Valley, Utah. It slid off the road and hit a fence before coming to a halt.
Mr. Francis was taken to hospital in nearby Tremonton, where he died. His passengers were able to walk away from the plane.
Derek Jensen, a spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol, said: “The outcome could have been a lot worse if he hadn’t landed in time and had more problems while he was still in the air.”
Patrolman Lee Perry, who was first at the scene, said: “It was a perfect, smooth landing. There were no skid or bump marks on the road.”
Mr. Francis ran a transport company in Brigham City, 60 miles north of Salt Lake City.