Aircraft Designer Lands After Heart Attack

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Steven R. Nusbaum, 65, formerly listed as designer and president of American Homebuilts Corp., made a safe off-airport landing after suffering a heart attack while flying in an experimental aircraft over a Chicago suburb, Tuesday. Nusbaum had been flying near his home at roughly 5:30 p.m., and was monitored by his son, Chance. Chance Nusbaum was monitoring the flight as the airplane abruptly descended. He arrived on scene to find the aircraft apparently undamaged with his father lying back in the seat. First responders brought an automated external defibrillator which provided two shocks to the pilot.

Along with the defibrillator shocks, Nusbaum was given CPR and transported to a local hospital where his condition improved from critical to stable. The Nusbaums have been involved in manufacture of a kit aircraft called the John Doe STOL. The FAA listed the specific type of aircraft involved in the event as a "Vaquero," a two-seat experimental built in 2001. Early reports state the aircraft was not damaged in the off-airport landing and that the defibrillator was key to Nusbaum's survival. Nusbaum filed to patent a flaperon system in the 1990s.