Who: Henry Dempsey, pilot / Paul Boucher, co-pilot
When: September 1987
Where: Portland, Maine to Boston
What: co-pilot made an emergency landing after the pilot “fell out the door” of a small airplane
- a Beechcraft 99 commuter airplane
- flying from Lewiston, Maine, to Boston, over the Atlantic
- pilot and co-pilot aboard
- no passengers aboard / carrying freight on this flight
- at approx 4000 feet above ground level
- approximate speed, 190 mph
- “During the flight the co-pilot said he could hear an air leak in the passenger cabin. The pilot then got up and walked back in the passenger area to investigate and was looking around the exit hatch when the airplane hit turbulence and the pilot fell against the door. When he fell against the door, it opened and he seemingly flew out.”
- “Boucher spotted the ″door ajar″ indicator light on and ″assumed the worst. He did not know what the situation was other than the captain did not return and the door was ajar,″ — apnews
- co-pilot made an emergency landing — Paul Boucher
- “When he landed he was amazed to find out that the pilot did not fall to his death but was in fact hanging on for dear life on the hand rails on the hatch door. He was hanging upside down with his head below the bottom of the door steps.”
- “When the airplane landed the pilot’s head was only a foot above the tarmac. It took the rescue crew five minutes to pry the pilot’s hands off the railings . . .
“You’re safe on the ground now, sir.”
“You can let go now, sir.”
“I can’t, my hands aren’t working.”
- “Henry Dempsey, 46, declined all interviews Thursday, but said through the company he was ″thrilled to see the sunrise″ and was still stunned by the ″harrowing experience.″ — apnews
Key Biblical Thoughts:
- life and death
. . . .
Sermonic Example: There are several distinct ways that one can use illustrative material.
(use whatever you find useful in the above details)
The Beechcraft 99 was flying from Lewiston, Maine, to Boston. It wasn’t carrying any passengers on this trip, just freight along with the pilot, Henry Dempsey, and co-pilot Paul Boucher. They were flying at 4,000 feet at around 200 miles per hour. Demsey heard an unusual sound coming from the back and went to investigate. The door seemed ajar, and as he leaned against it, it opened, and he fell out with and on the bottom-hinged door. Dempsey grabbed the two door cables and hung on for dear life.
Paul Boucher, the co-pilot, could see that the door was open but could not see that Dempsey was clinging onto the door. He assumed that Dempsey had plunged into the Atlantic. Dempsey had no idea as to what Boucher would do or how long he would have to cling to that door. Boucher radioed to make an emergency landing. Only upon landing did Boucher realize that Dempsey was clinging to that door and had survived this harrowing experience.
Some of us may feel like Henry Dempsey or like Paul Boucher. . . . .Some may feel like Dempsey, clinging to the door and hanging on for dear life. Others may feel like Boucher, just trying to land the plane and not knowing exactly what has happened, trying to make an emergency landing, and assuming that someone or something was lost for good.
The same situation, but two completely different perspectives — one facing death, the other unknowingly landing his friend to safety.
Other Information & Links:
—What type of aircraft mishap has only ever happened once in the whole history of aviation?