News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

November 7, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Nov. 7, 2013

Pilot uplifted by all who helped



I am the pilot who landed in a cornfield near Terre Haute after the engine in my plane quit. This thank you is for all the wonderful, helpful people that helped my passenger and me.

To begin with I express gratitude  to the Hulman airfield control tower operator and the pilot of an aircraft  who circled and relayed my messages to the tower to confirm my location and my safe landing.

Next were the emergency responders, fire, ambulance and local police who arrived soon after our landing to provide assistance. A special note of thanks to Frank Danners and his wife who arrived at the aircraft to see if we needed help before we had even exited the aircraft. Frank towed my plane out of the field to neighbor Brad Smith’s yard and made sure that the aircraft would be safe.

Frank also contacted Larry Hunt, who farms the field in which we landed. Larry was not upset that we had landed in his field and even allowed us to fly back out of his fully planted field after airplane repairs were made.

Deputy Sheriff Derek Fell of the Vigo County Sheriff’s office stepped forward and cleared his day to assist us. He answered our questions and made many helpful suggestions. He drove us to a car rental agency and made sure our needs were met.  He also offered further assistance if necessary.

Finally, I would like to thank the employees of Signature Aircraft Engines Co. in Cincinnati, Ohio, who replaced the engine and flew the plane out of Larry Hunt’s field.

What all this amounts to is that the people mentioned here and others in the Terre Haute community were sincerely concerned for my passenger and me and took great care of us after a hard day. Thank you to all.

— Lee Schmalz (pilot) and

Joe Kobussen (passenger)  

Kaukauna, Wis.

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