After his engine died at 70,000 feet, this pilot safely landed his plane in the dark with no map. Find out how he did it!
On August 3rd, 1959, Major H. Mike Hua went on a training mission using a Lockheed U-2 aircraft, also known as “Dragon Lady”.
The Lockheed U-2 is a single engine plane that operates at high altitudes. This particular type of aircraft is normally used for reconnaissance missions.
He left the Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas and began his training mission. Major Hua was reaching heights as high as 70,000 feet. While he was up there, he encountered a crisis: his only engine had flamed up and died.
Using his previous training and experience, Major Hua got control of the plane by gliding it until he could find a safe place to land and send for help. He turned to his map for help, but saw that there were no airports in sight. He accidently came across what looked like an illuminated landing strip and began to descend.
As it turns out, the lights belonged to an airport that was not on his map. He had landed at the Cortez Municipal Airport in Montezuma County in Colorado. Despite the mountain range and the endless amount of terrible things that could happen, this pilot used his instincts and training and was able to survive.