Today’s Illustration: Same Situation, But Two Different Perspectives

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.”
    “I know!”
    “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

Other Information & Links:

What type of aircraft mishap has only ever happened once in the whole history of aviation?

One thought on “Today’s Illustration: Same Situation, But Two Different Perspectives

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