Hero Pilot Gives Luce's Daughter Chance at Life

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Yet another tale of heroism has emerged from the southeast Kansas plane crash that injured the daughter of Teen Mania founder Ron Luce and claimed the lives of four others.

Pilot Luke Sheets, 23, was among the four Oral Roberts University graduates killed in the May 11 tragedy. Both he and former Marine Austin Anderson are being credited for saving Hannah Luce's life.

Luke was guiding the twin-engine plane toward a Christian youth conference in Council Bluffs when the cabin began to fill with smoke, likely making it hard for the occupants to see or breathe.

Luke's father, Craig, speculated that his son shut off the electrical power and attempted an emergency landing. Craig Sheets was a commercial airline pilot for more than 20 years, according to the Door County Advocate.

While Hannah Luce survived the crash landing, Luke, Stephen Luth, and Garrett Coble all died at the scene. Anderson succumbed to his injuries the following day.

"She was saved by the heroic actions of Luke for flying the airplane … and Austin pulling her out," Craig said.

Family and friends remember Luke as a Christ-like young man who had a passion for flying.

"I can't say enough about Luke; he was sharp as a tack when it came to flying," family friend and pilot David Burke said.

"Luke is just an extremely considerate, sweet, spirited, compassionate young man. He just exemplifies true Christianity," said Rev. Edward House, pastor of the Sheets' church, Door of Life Christian Church.

Debra, Sheets' mom, said God is sustaining their family in their loss.

"Honestly, if anyone had doubt that God and Jesus are real, I am living proof and my family … the strength that we are getting to sustain us is truly from Jesus and the Holy Spirit," she said.

A celebration for Sheets is scheduled to take place Saturday, 2 p.m. at United Methodist Church in Sturgeon Bay.

Family members are requesting donations be sent to the Oral Roberts University Department of Missions. They've also asked that memorials be made to Teen Mania Ministries in Luke's name.

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