“Theodore Wright was flying planes before he was old enough to drive a car,” Miranda Orso reports for The Press-Republican. “On Sept. 20, the Port Kent native’s long experience really paid off in a big way when he had to rely on training and instinct during a crash landing that could have easily killed both Ted and his passenger, Raymond Fosdick, 36. ‘He chose to be a pilot at 15,’ Ted’s mother, Kathleen, said in a phone interview Tuesday. Her heart plummeted when she picked up her phone to find the U.S. Coast Guard was on the line. ‘They said, ‘Your son has set off an emergency beacon,” she recalled. She began to panic, remembers screaming, ‘God, no!’ over and over.”
“Ted, 27, who lives part of the year in Clearwater, Texas, had lifted into the sky that day intending to fly his twin-engine Beechcraft Baron from Baytown, Texas, to Sarasota, Fla. But some 30 miles off the Louisiana coastline, the plane caught fire,” Orso reports. “Ted notified air-traffic controllers in Houston of the plane’s demise before cutting the electric power in an attempt to make the fire fizzle out. He also activated the aircraft’s emergency beacon while maneuvering the melting controls for a crash landing, directly into the gulf’s blue waters.”
Orso reports, “As the plane dove, Raymond grabbed life vests, along with a bag of survival gear. Ted went for his iPad, sealed in a waterproof case, and a hand-held emergency beacon used to transmit the pair’s location to authorities… While floating in the gulf, hoping for a quick rescue, Ted recorded a short video, capturing their experience… The two men grew less hopeful as night crept closer and jellyfish began to bite and sting. But 20 minutes before sunset, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection aircraft spotted them and notified the Coast Guard of their location. A MH-65C Dolphin helicopter was soon hovering above, a rescue swimmer jumped in the water and a basket was lowered.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Think” for the heads up.]