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A commercial airplane pilot with 30 years experience was flying a 747 from Chicago to Los Angeles. One of the flight attendants on board was his daughter.

During the course of the flight, the plane suffered one problem after another. The pilot did everything he could to compensate for the mechanical failures. His daughter, in the meantime, tried to keep the passengers calm.

Finally, she had a spare moment and slipped into the cockpit. "Daddy, tell me what's going to happen," she said.

"It's serious," her father answered. "We can't get to any airport. I'll have to make an emergency landing in on of those fields down there."

"We're going to die, aren't we?" the daughter asked.

Her father looked her straight in the eye. "I promise I will never let anything bad happen to you."

His daughter went back and prepared her passengers for the landing.

As they descended, the pilot could barely keep control of the aircraft. Then the landing gear failed. The 747 hit the ground hard. One of the wings broke off and the plane swung around wildly before it came to rest.

Among the passengers there were few lacerations, plenty of bruises and one or two broken bones. But everyone was alive. It was a different story in the pilot's cockpit. In the impact, the pilot's neck had been broken. He was dead.

The daughter was grief-stricken. But she was also proud of her father for having saved the lives of more than 200 people.

Several years later, the daughter was preparing a plane for takeoff. As she stepped into the galley, she saw her father's ghost. "Get off the plane. There's trouble with the engines. If the ground crew doesn't correct the problem, the plane will crash."

Frightened, the woman hurried off the plane, found the foreman of the mechanics and convinced him to re-inspect the engines one last time. The foreman found a fault in the engine which would have caused the plane to explode on takeoff.

The young woman's father had kept his promise. Even in death, he had saved her life again.

From Thomas J. Craughwell's collection of old urban legends.