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A pilot collapsed at the controls of a twin-engine plane, and his wife radioed for help in a vain attempt to save them before she also passed out and the plane crashed.

Two Marines attempting a rescue from their fighter jet could only watch helplessly as the plane spiraled down through thick clouds Monday. It skidded through a clearing and crashed in a small pond near this southeastern Georgia town, killing Joseph D. Black, 67, of Devon, Pa., and his wife, Louise, 58. The Blacks were flying from Orlando, Fla., to White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., when Black passed out over northeastern Florida for unknown reasons.

Mrs. Black, who had taken a few flying lessons, radioed air traffic control at Jacksonville Airport. Controllers guided her as she put the small plane on automatic pilot.

But then she passed out, apparently from lack of oxygen as the plane climbed above 25,000 feet.

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