Author Topic: Honk if parts fall off?  (Read 3112 times)

Offline Baradium

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Honk if parts fall off?
« on: December 28, 2007, 09:51:48 PM »

Plane lands safely without propeller
By Allison Sherry
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 12/27/2007 09:37:45 PM MST

Suspended at 16,000 feet in an airplane with no power, no propeller and motor oil streaming across the front windshield, 60-year-old Barry Cox remembered that panic wasn't going to do much good.

The Aspen man simply kept his eyes on the knot speed of his 1988 Piper Malibu, floating above the Roaring Fork Valley about 12 miles east of Aspen.

Thousands of hours of piloting taught him that 90 knots (103.7 mph) is the perfect gliding speed. And without a functioning engine, achieving 90 knots is all about the balance of the nose of the plane.

"You're like a paper airplane at that point," said Cox, a real estate developer. "The best thing is keeping a cool head and concentrating."

Cox was flying his daughter and her friend, as well as his friend, Stan Cheo, to Denver International Airport on a crisp Wednesday morning when he saw the first spatters of oil on the windshield.

Only 10 minutes into the flight, he quickly turned the plane back towards Aspen. That's when he heard a loud boom in his plane's single engine. A burst of oil splattered the windshield.

The noise was, it turns out, his propeller falling off.

He told his daughter they were OK and that he was going to glide back to Aspen.

"They knew enough to be quiet," he said.

Looking out the side windows, and relying on 35 years of flying into that tricky Aspen airport, Cox carefully took the plane down to runway.

Cox believes there was a defect in the metal of plane's crankshift, causing it to crack and drop the propeller.

Aviation officials are still probing the near-accident. A new engine was installed in the plane in May, and it had only flown 147 hours.

Cheo, a 41-year-old physical therapist who was traveling to Denver for a doctor's appointment, said he was calm because Cox was.

The oil streaming from the plane kicked off a burning smell that made him briefly wonder whether the four of them were going to burn up.

A day later, Cheo said he was reflecting a lot about what could have happened.

"I kind of have a little bit of sorting out my thoughts to deal with," said Cheo, a father of two.

Cox, who has a penchant for statistics, said he would never be afraid to fly. Technically, even small private planes are safer than cars, he said.

And losing an engine like that is very rare, he said.

"Even if you do have to make an off-field landing, most of those are successful," Cox said, minutes before going to a party Thursday evening in Aspen. "It is a little more difficult in the mountains than it would be in Kansas."

Allison Sherry: 303-954-1377 or
"Well I know what's right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I stand my ground, and I won't back down"
  -Johnny Cash "I won't back Down"

Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: Honk if parts fall off?
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 10:53:33 PM »


Don't make me come back there!!!!