Football's legendary Tom Landry ( AOPA 876447) died Feb. 12 after a battle with leukemia. Best known as coach of the Dallas Cowboys, he also "coached" the AOPA Air Safety Foundation—serving on the safety foundation's Board of Visitors for several years.
"The Air Safety Foundation was privileged to have Tom on our team. His calm demeanor, experience as a pilot, and his polished coaching skills helped us—and we'll miss him," said Bruce Landsberg, ASF executive director.
The Board of Visitors is ASF's advisory group of distinguished pilots and aviation professionals who volunteer their experience and knowledge to enhance the work of the Air Safety Foundation.
Landry began flying as a B-17 pilot in World War II. Post-war, he continued military flying with the Air Force Reserve. He held a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating and more recently owned and flew a Cessna 210.
It was in that Cessna that Landry made a remarkable emergency landing in 1995. In marginal weather conditions south of Dallas, his engine suddenly overheated and quit before Landry could reach the nearest airport. Landry made a superb emergency landing, ironically into a nearby football field.
Landry, 75, was head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for 29 years. He led "America's Team" to 20 consecutive winning seasons, 18 playoff appearances, 13 division championships, five NFC titles, and a record five Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowls VI and XII. Landry was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
February 16, 2000