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Archive for April 13th, 2009

Here’s To The Crazy Ones

Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently.
They’re not fond of rules.
And they have no respect for the status quo.

You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them,
disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them.
Because they change things.
They invent. They imagine.
They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire.
They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written?
Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?
While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world,
are the ones who do.

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Easter Miracle

small-plane
As your resident purveyor of feel good news on the planet :) – I found this today:

By Chris Umpierre, The (Fort Myers, Fla.) News-Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A tragedy thankfully didn’t turn into a disaster Sunday when a passenger successfully landed a small airplane at Southwest Florida International Airport after the pilot had a seizure 20 minutes after takeoff.

The pilot died before the plane landed.

The Beechcraft King Air two-engine turboprop plane, with five people on board, was flying from Marco Island to Jackson, Miss., when the pilot was stricken for unknown reasons.

Neither the pilot’s nor the passenger’s names were released by authorities.

Although the passenger who eventually landed the plane was a licensed pilot, he wasn’t certified to fly a high-performance turboprop aircraft and had never flown a King Air plane, according to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

A Fort Myers air traffic controller, whose name also wasn’t released, talked the man through the landing by calling a friend in Connecticut who was familiar with King Airs.

“We’ve had situations where passengers land airplanes before, but this is the first time I actually heard a controller actually tell the passenger to push this button and turn this knob,” said Steve Wallace, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers in Miami. “It’s a heck of an Easter story.”

Wallace was working in the Miami air traffic control center when his air controllers couldn’t reach the plane’s pilot at 2 p.m. Sunday. The Miami center deals with planes at high altitude — 10,000 or more feet — in South Florida.

“We tried a couple times and didn’t hear anything,” Wallace said. “Then all of a sudden, we hear a passenger say, ‘This is November 55 Niner Delta Whisky and my pilot is passed out. We need help now.'”

Despite dealing with 15 other planes in the air at the time, the Miami air traffic control center helped the man disengage autopilot, turn the plane around and descend to Fort Myers.

Fort Myers air traffic controllers then helped him land the plane thanks to an assist from a Connecticut pilot. The man in Connecticut pulled out a King Air manual and read off a checklist for landing, which the Fort Myers air traffic controller then relayed to the passenger-turned-pilot.

“The passenger was a certified pilot, but not in this plane, so he needed this help,” said Alex Caldwell, spokeswoman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. “It’s not the like driving a Ford Focus and an F-150. There’s a big difference with planes.”

Wallace said the passenger deserves all the credit for the safe landing.

“I was watching him on the radar and he was able to hold the airplane level, make the turn and land on his first shot,” Wallace said.

“When he landed, our heroes over here got a nice applause and a pat on the back. It’s not often controllers fly plane by proxy.”

The plane, which was built in 1982, is owned by White Equipment Leasing in Archibald, La. according to Federal Aviation Administration records. The owner couldn’t be reached for comment.

“This could have had a truly horrible outcome,” Caldwell said. “It’s a real Easter miracle.”

© Copyright 2007 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.

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