Skip to comments.Vacationing Air Force bomber pilot helped land Boeing 737 after pilot had a heart attack
Posted on 06/02/2014 5:08:42 PM PDT by ConservativeStatement
United Flight 1637 was returning off-duty Air Force Captain Mike Gongol, his family and 157 other souls from their Christmas vacation when disaster struck.
The Boeing 737's pilot suffered a devastating heart attack at 30,000 feet on the way from Des Moines to Denver, forcing Gongol to rush to the cockpit and help guide the plane to an emergency landing.
His heroic actions have gone unheralded until now, as Gongol recalls the dramatic moment he answered the chilling announcement on the December 30 flight, 'Does anyone know how to fly a plane?'
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
God bless the men that fly and fight.
“Does anyone know how to fly a plane.”Ranks up there with “Fix bayonets” for words you never want to hear.
Independence Day - I can fly, I’m Pilot.wmv
737 has 2 pilots.
Not certified for single-pilot operation.
It’s handy to have another person up there to run the FMS, jabber on the radio, hold the pilot’s beer, and the like.
The article mentions the first officer.
“It was then that the first officer turned to Gongol and revealed she had never landed at Omaha airport before.”
Every pilot on board a commercial jet wonders if they will hear that call on the PA.
Usually there are at least 3-4 people on a flight with varying degrees of experience. All they really need to do is assist the Pilot Not Flying with the radio and possibly gear/flaps, although a 737 can be flown by one guy in VFR conditions.
It’s just if it were to happen on dark night with an approach to minimums...in snow
7th Maine, or 20th?
DFC is deserved in my opinion. B1-B pilot sitting there cold, plopped into the seat of a 737 he isn’t rated in and has never flown. Has no idea of the fuel, weather,,,nothing.
Lands it and saves 160 lives.
DFC doesn’t have to be combat related.
One of the worst things that’s happened with our awards system is that they are over inflating the standards to award for actual pilots and grunts. While Officers and politically approved groups in the military are festooned with decorations.
The Medal of Honor has become downright ridiculous. Half of the ones awarded in WWII Korea and Vietnam wouldn’t make the cut today.
Heroic behavior should be recognized properly. He was military man, and was heroic, and exhibited some distinguished flying, ergo,, DFC. That’s exactly the standards.
Silly headline alert. The actual announcement was “are there any non-revenue pilots on board?”
"Captain Mike Gongol, United States Air Force distinguished himself by saving 160 passengers,........bringing honor upon himself and the United States Air Force. "
My endorsement isn't worth anything, but a TSgt thinks the Capt did good, and needs and attaboy.
I've been taking stupid pills.
You just blew my mind. I am going to carefully weigh every word you say from now on with the most open mind I possess.
Or maybe thinking about Yellow Hair.