ST. LOUIS, MO – A potentially dangerous situation was averted last evening when quick thinking from a brave individual assisted with the emergency landing of a commercial airliner at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.
The Boeing 737 had encountered a mechanical failure during its flight from New York forcing the pilot to make an emergency stop at St. Louis. With autopilot functions no longer working, the pilot requested to be signaled in from the ground in order to land the aircraft manually. In the midst of a partial government shutdown still continuing from last month, the airport was greatly understaffed in air traffic control personnel and was scrambling to provide immediate assistance. David Shuller, 29, overhearing the situation in a discussion among flight attendants in the terminal, volunteered to assist.
Visibility on the air strip was poor that evening, but staff recall that Shuller was remarkably well equipped for the task. Sporting what witnesses describe as a long bright orange jacket with a brightly colored bandanna around his head, Shuller was already in high-visibility clothing which allowed him to stand out of the runway. Coupled with a set of handheld colored lights which he conveniently had on hand, it was almost as if the man was immediately prepared to take action.
Quickly heading to the landing runway, Shuller turned on his lights and began performing what witnesses describe as a series of rapid side to side motion with the two light sticks. The pilot was able to quickly spot his landing target and move his aircraft in for a safe landing.
“There’s no way I could not have seen him,” recalled the pilot. “The way he moved his lights around made it so I was sure to spot him even from such a long distance. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone handle lights in such an impressive manner.”
Once landed, Shuller effortlessly guided the plane to the passenger terminal waving his sticks in an almost rhythm-like motion. Shuller credits the safe landing to both his pair of King Blade X10 III penlights and simply being in the right place at the right time.
“I’m sure anyone in my position would have done the same thing,” stated Shuller.
Passengers expressed their verbal gratitude to the local hero but decided against physical contact due to his sweaty appearance.
Shuller was offered a position as an air traffic controller for his efforts. Shuller politely declined the offer stating that the long working hours wouldn’t fit his lifestyle which requires him to travel frequently. He did, however, encourage everyone to vote for Takami Chika in the ongoing Love Live new single center election while showing off the design on his high visibility jacket.