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Vacationing Air Force bomber pilot helped land Boeing 737 after pilot had a heart attack
Daily Mail UK ^ | June 2, 2014 | James Nye

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 ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: airforce; airplane; aviation; b737; boeing; gongol; pilots; rescue; ual; veterans
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Actual headline: Does anyone know how to fly a plane?! Vacationing Air Force bomber pilot helped land United Boeing 737 with 160 aboard after pilot had a heart attack
1 posted on 06/02/2014 5:08:42 PM PDT by ConservativeStatement
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To: ConservativeStatement
Not a DFC, but something less would be appropriate.

God bless the men that fly and fight.

/johnny

2 posted on 06/02/2014 5:10:06 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: ConservativeStatement

“Does anyone know how to fly a plane.”Ranks up there with “Fix bayonets” for words you never want to hear.


3 posted on 06/02/2014 5:15:18 PM PDT by Farmer Dean (stop worrying about what they want to do to you,start thinking about what you want to do to them)
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To: Farmer Dean
Unless you know how to fly a plane, or are with the 7th Maine.

/johnny

4 posted on 06/02/2014 5:16:42 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Farmer Dean

5 posted on 06/02/2014 5:17:49 PM PDT by ConservativeStatement ("World Peace 1.20.09.")
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To: ConservativeStatement

Independence Day - I can fly, I’m Pilot.wmv
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUWhjjfOFec&feature=kp


6 posted on 06/02/2014 5:18:08 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2Million USD for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: ConservativeStatement

737 has 2 pilots.


7 posted on 06/02/2014 5:19:42 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SampleMan

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.


8 posted on 06/02/2014 5:21:50 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: SampleMan

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.”


9 posted on 06/02/2014 5:22:29 PM PDT by ConservativeStatement ("World Peace 1.20.09.")
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To: ConservativeStatement

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


10 posted on 06/02/2014 5:22:29 PM PDT by Regulator
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To: zot

Bomber’s 737


11 posted on 06/02/2014 5:23:06 PM PDT by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: JRandomFreeper

7th Maine, or 20th?


12 posted on 06/02/2014 5:24:09 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

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.


13 posted on 06/02/2014 5:24:45 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: ConservativeStatement
I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

-PJ

14 posted on 06/02/2014 5:25:10 PM PDT by Political Junkie Too (If you are the Posterity of We the People, then you are a Natural Born Citizen.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Silly headline alert. The actual announcement was “are there any non-revenue pilots on board?”


15 posted on 06/02/2014 5:30:43 PM PDT by NonValueAdded (Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi or Atty General Holder, who brought more guns to Mexico?)
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To: DesertRhino
Ok. You convinced me.

"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.

/johnny

16 posted on 06/02/2014 5:33:45 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: DuncanWaring
Duh... 20th.

I've been taking stupid pills.

/johnny

17 posted on 06/02/2014 5:34:48 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

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.


18 posted on 06/02/2014 5:37:07 PM PDT by DesertRhino (I was standing with a rifle, waiting for soviet paratroopers, but communists just ran for office.)
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To: DesertRhino
You were right. I was being stingy. The guy deserves it.

What?

/johnny

19 posted on 06/02/2014 5:38:51 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Or maybe thinking about Yellow Hair.


20 posted on 06/02/2014 5:43:36 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

RE: Fix Bayonets

Or belong to Lewis Millet’S Company E 2nd Battalion 27th regiment

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Millett

Regards

alfa6 ;>}


21 posted on 06/02/2014 5:49:03 PM PDT by alfa6
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To: Regulator

There’s also pilots deadheading to an airport to pick up their flight. But yeah, needed that second person on the deck to help out.


22 posted on 06/02/2014 5:51:46 PM PDT by SkyDancer (If you don't read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read newspapers you are misinformed)
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To: alfa6
Or May 14, 2004 in Iraq. SGT MAJ Dave Falconer, gave that order to 'fix bayonets'. Brits still gots some testicular fortitude.

/johnny

23 posted on 06/02/2014 5:55:09 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

How many people even have bayonets these days?

(I’ve got three).


24 posted on 06/02/2014 5:56:27 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: ConservativeStatement
“It was then that the first officer turned to Gongol and revealed she had never landed at Omaha airport before.”

If this is a problem, then that F.O. doesn't need to be in that job any more.
It's an airport.
It has a runway or three.
Land the friggin' airplane! It doesn't have to be pretty - you can break it if you really have to - but land the plane!

25 posted on 06/02/2014 5:57:55 PM PDT by grobdriver (Where is Wilson Blair when you need him?)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Thanks I will have to look that up later

Regards

alfa6 ;>}


26 posted on 06/02/2014 5:58:00 PM PDT by alfa6
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To: SkyDancer

What I thought was funny was the notion that the FO needed the Bomber Pilot to “talk her through the landing” at Omaha.

Um...right. Like she couldn’t just read the chart.


27 posted on 06/02/2014 5:58:38 PM PDT by Regulator
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To: DuncanWaring
I've got one.

But I have a crapload of kitchen knives and a bunch of duct tape.

Never piss off a cook.

/johnny

28 posted on 06/02/2014 5:58:51 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: grobdriver

It’s just the reporters. They literally have no clue.


29 posted on 06/02/2014 6:00:04 PM PDT by Regulator
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To: ConservativeStatement

Fact omitted from the story: when first arriving in the cockpit, Capt. Gongol’s first words were “Where are the other two throttles?”.


30 posted on 06/02/2014 6:00:21 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

Whoa!


31 posted on 06/02/2014 6:01:16 PM PDT by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: Regulator
Stress of the pilot going Tango Uniform in the seat, unfamiliar airport, probably low hours in type.

Yep. It might be a good idea to have someone calm to read the frigging chart for her, and plug in all the frequencies.

/johnny

32 posted on 06/02/2014 6:02:31 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper

And your knives are probably sharper than my bayonets.


33 posted on 06/02/2014 6:03:23 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: ConservativeStatement
“It was then that the first officer turned to Gongol and revealed she had never landed at Omaha airport before.”

Neither Bob Pearson nor Maurice Qintal had ever landed where they landed on July 23, 1983.

It was a dead-stick landing, necessitated by "fuel exhaustion due to maintenance error". The "airport" was a closed Canadian airbase that Quintal remembered from his days in the service. Part of it had been converted into a drag strip.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimli_Glider

34 posted on 06/02/2014 6:07:17 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: ConservativeStatement

Last Friday, Southwest Flight Attendant: “Fasten your seatbelts, the pilot mentioned he wants to try something new today.”


35 posted on 06/02/2014 6:17:24 PM PDT by Theophilus (Be as prolific as you are pro-life.)
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To: cynwoody

I had forgotten aboot that exciting dead stick landing!


36 posted on 06/02/2014 6:18:28 PM PDT by publius911 ( Politicians come and go... but the (union) bureaucracy lives and grows forever.)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: JRandomFreeper

Air Medal maybe. More likely, what promises to be the fastest, easiest pilot interview United will ever give.


38 posted on 06/02/2014 6:24:18 PM PDT by USNBandit (sarcasm engaged at all times)
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To: USNBandit
Air Medal would work.

At the rank of O-4 (Captain, USAF), one has to wonder whether he hadn't read the -1 on most of the commercial fleet, in anticipation of not seeking O-5 (Major).

Discussing anything involving other service rank with Navy is dang awkward. Just had to say that.

/johnny

39 posted on 06/02/2014 6:31:33 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper
Capt O-3 (USAF), Maj O-4.

I know better. I'm out for the night. Be back when I'm not fighting an infection.

/johnny

40 posted on 06/02/2014 6:40:24 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: USNBandit
I screwed up. See post 40.

I'll be back when I whip the infection and I'm not on stupid pills. ;)

/johnny

41 posted on 06/02/2014 6:43:42 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: ConservativeStatement
the chilling announcement on the December 30 flight, 'Does anyone know how to fly a plane?'

My guess is it was more like, "Um . . . does anyone know how to fly a plane?"

42 posted on 06/02/2014 6:50:21 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Conservatism is the political disposition of grown-ups.)
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To: Regulator

Usually FO’s are taken to fields to learn them. The PIC i.e captain talks them through it. Usually they don’t know what airport they’ll be flying to so there’s no time to learn the approach.


43 posted on 06/02/2014 6:53:23 PM PDT by SkyDancer (If you don't read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read newspapers you are misinformed)
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To: DesertRhino

Helping the First Officer land a perfectly good airplane in Omaha is exactly the same as keeping a flak damaged B-17 on the bomb run over Mainz. If you want the standards to be enforced, this might be a good place to start.


44 posted on 06/02/2014 7:05:20 PM PDT by centurion316
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To: ConservativeStatement

Hopefully United has given this guy free lifetime passes.


45 posted on 06/02/2014 7:06:13 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (Melowese Richardson - Democrat Vote Fraud Expert)
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To: ConservativeStatement

A couple of technical errors in the article. The B-1 is not a nuclear bomber (not anymore) and they don’t fly out of Ft Carson.


46 posted on 06/02/2014 7:08:12 PM PDT by NYFreeper
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To: DuncanWaring

I do - Have M4, M6, M7


47 posted on 06/02/2014 7:10:23 PM PDT by njslim (T)
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To: DuncanWaring

And then there is the oft told airline story about the captain giving his level off announcement over the PA: weather, arrival time, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Still keying the mike, he dropped his hand and rested it on his leg and announced to the First Officer, “Boy, I sure could use a cup of coffee and a blow job”, not knowing that the entire plane had heard the exchange.

One of the flight attendants turned to run up to the cockpit to let them know about the PA. A little old lady sitting in the last row cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled,”you forgot the coffee!!!”


48 posted on 06/02/2014 7:15:26 PM PDT by Cowgirl of Justice
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To: ConservativeStatement

Can’t imagine a long straight in with single channel priority would be too taxing, but I guess if she needed a someone to warm the seat then that was good.


49 posted on 06/02/2014 7:46:43 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: ConservativeStatement

What a blessing that this pilot was on this flight.


50 posted on 06/02/2014 7:56:55 PM PDT by Jane Long ("And when thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek")
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