Woman, 80, lands plane

Cessna-plane

Helen flew a Cessna plane. Photo: Public domain

Adapted from The Vancouver Sun by Nila Gopaul
Level 1

Helen Collins flies to Florida
with her husband.
They enjoy eating and sitting
by the ocean at Easter.
John Collins, 81, is a pilot.
They start to fly home.

John does not feel well.
He cannot fly the plane.
He takes off his seat belt.
He lies down on the floor.

Suddenly, it is very quiet.
John has died.
Helen calls 911. She stays calm.
She flew a plane 30 years ago.
But she never flew this one.
People want to help.

Another man, Rob, jumps into a plane.
He is a flying teacher.
He flies beside her.
He tells her what to do on his radio.
For 90 minutes,
they fly in circles and practice.

Helen: “I’m running out of gas.”
Rob: “No, you’re doing fine.”
Helen: “No…my right engine is out.”
Now Helen must land.

Rob tells her what to do:
“Power off, power off, nose up.
O.K. you’re down.
Great job, Helen, great job!”
The plane bounces 35 feet and stops.

Helen is lucky.
She only hurts her back.
Her son is sad.
He lost his father.
But he is happy that his mother is alive.