"Lethal Country" Saves Pilot

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A place that calls itself "Lethal Country" might not be your first choice in an emergency but a Mooney pilot says the folks at Cannon Air Force Base in New Mexico (slogan: "America's Most Lethal Warfighting Team") likely saved his life. Dr. George Carlson wasn't having the best of days in the left seat after he hit a power line while trying to land in stormy weather at nearby Clovis Municipal Airport. The impact caused radio problems but Cannon controllers were finally able to guide him to a safe landing on the base. "Protecting human life is job number one here in 'Lethal Country,'" said Col. Lee Wight, Operations Group Commander for the 27th Fighter Wing based at Cannon. "Our controllers spared no effort and showed great skill ..." Carlson spent the night at the base and later told public relations staff that he was in serious trouble before the military stepped in. He said he was almost out of fuel, suffering spatial disorientation and icing up when the Cannon controllers found a way to communicate with him using his transponder. "They saved my life. Without them, I would surely have crashed." Carlson was on a flight from San Francisco to Ardmore, Okla.