Friday, February 3, 2012

Balls 'O Steel

A friend of mine sends this note:

I've been meaning to write and say hello, and Happy New Year; it's been busy last two months. I had an interesting story since the last time I was up to see you. On Sunday, after shooting, I left (the airport). I spent the weekend at xxx's house. Late afternoon coming home in my plane, my wife and I were just south of Bradley at 5,000 feet. Nice flight, smooth. All of a sudden there was a strange noise, oil pressure dropping and temperature getting hot. I advised Bradley I was diverting to Meriden , CT. Things got worse. Oil coming out of engine came over the windshield. Smoke now entering the cabin. I was coming down somewhat blinded. Meriden was about ten miles to my south. Within a minute the engine seized. Now out of power, descending blind, it looked like a tough situation. I held course and best rate of descent for maximum glide. I was determined not to be a statistic. Bradley had a supervisor talking to me on the way down. I thought how often they do this in serious or fatal outcomes. I had a casual conversation with him on the way down. I even asked him if there was a decent hamburger joint near Meriden . As I descended below 2000 feet, I was below his radar coverage. He wished me luck and I was on my own. It was real different descending in silence. As I approached Meriden, I had little visibility out front. I made the field and rolled the plane over to align with the runway. Put the landing gear down and set it down safely. Plane was towed to a hanger and the FAA came to inspect. The cause was determined to be a Magneto separated off the engine. Oil quickly depleted and engine stopped. This is an extremely rare event. Well, I'm having a new engine ordered and should be back in the air by March. Just in time for some shooting! My wife may take a little more time to get up again. You never can tell what life has in store. Look forward to seeing you again. Best wishes

He's a better man than me, Gunga Din.
They'd have to surgically remove the seat cushion from my nether regions...


Nancy R. said...

Did he at least get his burger? And a drink or 3?

Holy crap, that's scary.

doubletrouble said...

That's funny. My response to his email was

NOT a Chinese guy; & if I know J, he got his burger & a diet Coke.

Borepatch said...

The Right Stuff. He has it.

Old NFO said...

He did ALL the right things, must have been a military pilot at one time, as the 'procedures' kicked in and they survived! Kudos to him AND his wife for staying calm and collected.

TOTWTYTR said...

Wow, just wow. That very easily could have been a news story about a fatal crash.

Good for you friend keeping his head.