By Robin Rieger
HAMMONTON, N.J. (CBS) — A Hammonton man in a family of pilots is getting back to his passion after it nearly killed him five months ago.
The Flood family’s New Year’s celebration is more meaningful this year because of the presence of 21-year-old Jason Flood. He was proudly standing among them Monday, on his own two feet.
Five months ago, on August 2nd, Jason was in grave condition, pulled from the wreckage of his airplane. It crashed as he attempted to pick up an advertising banner at the Hammonton Airport. (see related story)
“I broke my tibia, I broke my femur. They took out my left kidney, my spleen. The major thing was a torn aorta in my heart,” says injured pilot Jason Flood.
“They didn’t really expect him to make it,” said his father Joseph Flood.
Jason doesn’t remember the accident, but believes his skills as an aerobatic pilot must have helped with what he was told was an engine malfunction.
“I did what I had to, to get speed and land flat,” says Flood.
He and his family did what they had to do to get him through numerous surgeries and months of physical therapy that took an emotional toll.
“We never gave up, we prayed together. We were always together,” says his mother, Janet Flood.
Not long after getting around with the help of a walker, Jason took to the sky alone in early December without fear.
“It’s who I am, it’s what I live for,” says Flood.
“I’m glad he got in the seat and proved to himself ‘yes I can do this’,” says Janet Flood.
“It’s what we do, we fly”, says Joseph Flood.
One step at a time, Jason will continue to heal and pursue a career as a corporate pilot. He promises to take nothing for granted in 2012.
“To be granted a second chance is pretty remarkable,” says Flood.