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Fri, Apr 22, 2005

When All That's Left Is Your Experience... And Your Cool

75-Year Old Pilot Puts 152 Down On VERY Busy Road

Ever wonder why you don't read more about general aviation mishaps here at ANN? Well, we have a policy on that. We cover aviation accidents and incidents three ways here:

  • We cover mass casualty situations (we hate it, but we do it -- they make us as sad and sometimes angry as they do you)
  • We cover unusual situations that go beyond plane-meets-ground
  • We provide extended coverage when we think there's something we can learn from the situation.

That last point brings up this next point.

Carl Tomlinson, 75, of Belvedere, SC, experienced an engine problem around 1130 Wednesday. He started looking for a place to put his 1963 Cessna 150 down. There wasn't much -- except for that very busy stretch of Washington Road just past the intersection of Bobby Jones in Martinez, GA.

The plane clipped a power line (resulting in a local power outage) with the prop and managed to control the plane to a successful landing in the east bound lane during busy lunch-time traffic. He was able to taxi the plane to a full stop in the parking lot in front of the K-Mart store. There were no injuries and only minor damage to the prop and spinner on the plane. If you look closely in the background, you can see the WingStop Cafe.

Plans are for the wings to be removed and the plane loaded on a trailer for transport to Daniel Field for repair.

So, campers, what did we learn? Well, we learned that when the engine quits, the plane goes down whether you want it to or not. Pick your spot and fly the plane all the way. Keep your cool, like Carl did. Just about anyone can learn to fly. But in situations like this, it takes both experience... and cool... to save your plane... and your butt.

FMI: www.faa.gov/avr/aai

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