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www.wmfd.com - The Ohio Air National Guard's 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield welcomes a new C-130 pilot who has quite a story to tell his colleagues. }}" />

Hero Pilot Joins 179th Airlift Wing

Story By: Greg Heindel



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  Original Published: 6/5/2014

The Ohio Air National Guard's 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield welcomes a new C-130 pilot who has quite a story to tell his colleagues. In fact, he's been telling the entire country about a harrowing airline flight he took in December.

WMFD's Greg Heindel had a chance to speak with the humble hero who stepped-up when 159 other lives depended on him.

33-year-old Air Force Captain Mark Gongol was a passenger on a United Airlines 737, flying from Des Moines, Iowa to Denver, Colorado, on December 30. The pilot became ill with a heart problem, and the flight crew asked if anyone knew how to fly a plane.

The bomber pilot went to the cockpit and helped the co-pilot land it safely at the Omaha Nebraska airport. Gongol says he's surprised by the national media attention he's received since word of his life-saving effort got out.

Captain Gongel, his wife and young daughter have moved from Iowa to Medina, Ohio, and he's joining the 179th. Gongol is also applying for a pilot's jop with United, flying out of Cleveland Hopkins Airport.

The airline pilot Gongel "filled-in" for has recovered, but has since retired.

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