Scott, a very good friend of mine, and one I don’t see often enough, asked me to breakfast this morning. During the course of catching up on family, friends and spiritual things he asked me how the airplane was doing?
“Didn’t I tell you?” I replied? “I haven’t been trying to hide it from anyone, and I thought the word had traveled pretty fast! 🙂 I had another accident with it three months ago, December 30th to be exact, so I’ve been without the use of it since then. Maybe I will get it back into the air next week?”
“What happened?” he exclaimed. “Well, I’ll give you the short version and then the longer version if you want it,” I replied with a smile. I was practicing patterns at the airport, to burn a little fuel out of the tanks before putting the airplane in the hangar. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a good head wind out of the south, right down the runway, perfect conditions for short field landing practice. So I decided to see how short I could land and stop using the white painted area at the approach end of RWY 19 as a gauge. I landed exactly where I wanted to, braked hard, but well short of locking the brakes up, and when I had slowed to an estimated 5 MPH or walking speed, I looked out the left window and down at the tire, saw I was still on the white paint. Thinking nothing bad could happen at such a slow speed, I continued to apply full braking. The next thing I heard was the sound of the prop striking the
runway multiple times; with the airplane in a nosed over attitude. Sickening feeling! It was so unexpected. And it happened so fast. I had the feeling I’d slipped on ice and hit the back of my head on the ground instantly.
It was such a slow speed event there wasn’t much of a safety concern. I just had the sickening thought that, “This is going to be expensive!” And, “This is your second airplane accident in three years!” “How could this happen?”
Fuel was now pouring out the overflow vents due to the nose down attitude of the plane. So I got out and lifted the nose, lowering the tail gently to the ground. I climbed back into the airplane, called the tower to tell them I didn’t need emergency equipment, but I would need to be towed to the hangar, then pushed the airplane safely off the runway and waited for a tug, and the long ride to the hangar. That’s the end of the story.
Well sort of…. This kind of prop damage requires a new prop, and also that the engine be removed and sent to an FAA approved engine shop for tear down and inspection to ensure there was no internal damage from the sudden stoppage of the prop. There was no internal damage, but this has taken three months to date, and a significant amount of money, most of which thankfully is covered by my insurance company.
I’ve had plenty of time to ponder what happened and lessons that could be learned from this event? I’ve asked the Lord to teach me or show me what He wants me to glean from it and journaled about it a number of times. 🙂 I may share some of those lessons in subsequent posts, but this one has gotten long enough, so I’ll close.
It’s purpose is to not miss an opportunity to humble myself, and admit my mistakes. To be real about being human, and living life as an adventure with friends, family, and before the Lord. So I’ll end this report as I started the last accident I reported on this blog site about three years ago.
“After flying as a pilot more than fourteen thousand hours over thirty-five years, and never scratching an airplane, on March 28th of this year  I crashed and totaled one. I walked away from it, and there is an old saying in aviation, “Any landing you walk away from is a good one.” This is in fact true, for reasons that should be self evident, but it’s still very embarrassing [and humbling :)] to have an accident like this as an experienced pilot.” [More to follow…]
“The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4)
“… all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)
“I’ am still learning.” Michelangelo
[I realize I’m posting this mainly for myself. Hopefully it will benefit some, and I’ll return to trying to be an encourager and providing spiritually uplifting material with the next edition. Thanks!]