7-Year Old Shows Off Survival Skills After Plane Crash

A plane crash is something that no one wants to be apart of, that much is true. For someone who is under the age of ten, that experience is undoubtedly traumatic beyond description. Just this week, a young 7-year old girl not only experienced a plane crash, but lived to tell the story. This is truly one of the most remarkable stories we have heard in the past year and very well might be one of the best survival stories of 2015, even though we are only a few days into the new year.

Picking Apart the Pieces

The unbelievable situation started over the skies of Western Kentucky when Sailor Gutzler and her family were flying in their plane, en route to southern Illinois.

Marty Gutzler, Sailor’s father, was at the plane’s controls when they encountered what is being described as “inclement weather” over Kentucky. Returning from a family Christmas trip to Florida, the Gutzler’s and a 14-year old relative were en route to their Mount Vernon, Illinois residence by way of Key West, Florida.

Little about the crash is known at this point, though many people are pointing to the aforementioned weather as the primary culprit behind the crash. Now, only a few days later, Federal Aviation investigators are combing through the wreckage to determine exactly what went wrong. One of the few known pieces of information at this point is that the plane, when it hit the earth, landed and came to rest in an upside-down position.

The most confusing part of all of this is the fact that Marty Gutzler, 43, was an experienced pilot who not only worked as a flight instructor, but also had more than 4,000 hours of flying experience. On top of that, his family maintains that he had made the Key West to Illinois flight many times in the past.

Survival Skills Handed Down

Sailor Gutzler, the only one to survive the crash, did so by making use of survival skills that were passed down to her by her late father. Immediately after the plane came to rest in a heavily wooded area of Lyon County, Kentucky, Sailor acted swiftly by collecting a stick that she subsequently lit on fire thanks to flames from the plane’s wings. Because this crash occurred during the middle of the night, Sailor needed some sort of light in order to guide her through the densely wooded area.

After walking nearly a mile in the woods, Sailor stumbled upon a residence and proceeded to knock on the door. Less than an hour after the plane had touched ground, local authorities had received a 911 call from someone claiming that a little girl arrived at her door saying that her parents had just been killed in a plane crash.

Larry Wilkins was the person who answered the door, and described the little girl as being dressed for Florida weather and without shoes. Making this story even more remarkable is the fact that a 7-year old girl was able to overcome the sub-40 degree weather and navigate her way to safety. According to Gutzler family members, Sailor was able to find her way by use of survival skills that have been embedded in her since the time she was an infant. Without such decisive action in such a limited amount of time, there very well may have been one more fatality to write about.

Though Sailor still has a long road to recovery, both mentally and physically, it is encouraging to hear that she is alive and well. This story also perfectly illustrates just how crucial survival skills can be. To that end, if a 7-year old knows the basics of surviving in the wilderness and was able to put them to use immediately after a plane crash, there is no excuse for any adults to not know how to handle survival situations in nature.