Flight Attendant Says She's No Hero

By Lori Preuitt and Scott Budman
|  Thursday, Jun 17, 2010  |  Updated 7:35 AM CDT
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Flight Attendant Gets Hero Status

She helped land a plane in Chicago after a pilot gets the flu.
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A San Francisco-based flight attendant is being lauded as a hero after she helped land a 767 in Chicago earlier this week.

Patti Deluna helped the pilot of American flight 1612 land safely at O'Hare after the first officer began suffering from severe flu-like symptoms.

Deluna was quick to deflect the credit her co-workers have poured on her ever since.

Deluna says she simply did what she knew she should -- help out.

"I want to tell you on the airplane, we work as a team. Nobody's a star, not even the captain.  It's all teamwork, and luckily on Monday, it all came together really well," Deluna said.

It wasn't long after the flight took off from San Francisco International Airport on Monday that the first officer started to feel sick.

The pilot first asked passengers if there was an off-duty pilot on the plane.  Deluna said she volunteered after no one came forward because she had a pilot's license.  She said she had not flown for 30 years, but she responded because it was the best option they had at the time.

She calls it the opportunity of a lifetime.

She switched in her cart for a headset and helped the plane, with 225 passenger on board, land safely.

"I did not land this plane, contrary to popular belief. I was just there as support for the captain," Deluna said.

When asked if she plans to retake flying lessons, Deluna said she was not planning on that because she was saving her money to buy a home in the Bay Area.

"As sorry as I was that the first officer was sick, this was so great for me," she said. "This is way more fun than galley duty."
 

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