Moody assists downed pilot - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moody assists downed pilot

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April 5, 2007

Moody Air Force Base - Airmen at Moody Air Force Base took off on a routine training mission yesterday, but soon found themselves in a completely different situation.  "Basically we heard someone say we had an aircraft that had an emergency. Next thing I heard on the radio that somebody was down," says Senior Airman Rebecca Korotie.

The airmen immediately stepped in.  "Angel ops, this is team two one. We have a downed aircraft," she radios.

It was a piper plane, traveling from Sylvania Georgia to Fort Myers, Florida.

As it flew over south Georgia the plane's engine died and pilot Taylor Gibson was forced to make an emergency crash landing.  "I landed, rolled out, the wing tip caught a post off to one side of the road, swung the airplane around and wiped the landing gear out, and the landing gear collapsed," Gibson says.

Gibson landed in a secluded area near the Okefenokee Swamp.  Moody pilots were still flying near by.  "I couldn't have given anyone any directions to where I was for sure!" Gibson exclaims.

"We basically just found him and circled in the air so he knew that someone was there and knew where he was," Korotie says.

The airmen then helped authorities locate Gibson and his crippled plane.  "I was very glad to have them on sight and appreciate their efforts greatly.  I really just want to thank all the airmen for their help," Gibson says.

Investigators are now looking into what caused that engine to fail.

Luckily, Gibson was not injured in the crash and now looks forward to retake the skies over South Georgia.

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