Pilot dies, passenger affects Hollywood ending

They say that the vast majority of problems you’ll encounter while flying are during takeoff. That’s what happened to Doug White and his family. Pilot Joe Cabuk’s head fell back, and he died.

In a display worthy of a Hollywood script, White got on the radio and was walked through the landing of the King Air in which he was promoted from passenger to captain. It did help that White had a pilot’s license, though he had never flown this particular type of plane.

And, he got his license in 1990 … and hadn’t been in the cockpit in 18 years.

Thirty minutes after leaving the ground, White returned “Niner Delta Whisky” – the craft’s name in airplane parlance – back to Earth. Though all were stressed, none was injured.

For his success, the once again pilot credits “focused fear.”