No prop? No problem!

February 4, 2012 by Mike Collins

A pilot friend shared this video, in which a Mexican pilot successfully lands a Cessna 172 on a highway–after the propeller departed the aircraft in flight.

My Spanish is rusty…very rusty…and the audio isn’t very good, but the pilot appears to do an excellent job of keeping his cool, choosing a place to set down, and then landing. The latter might have been a challenge in itself, as video from after the landing shows traffic on what appears to be a rather busy road. It even appeared that he unlatched the aircraft door shortly before touchdown (do you remember that step from your emergency-landing checklist?).

The accompanying article doesn’t provide any detail as to who the pilot was, or when this occurred. I’d like to know more of the back story. Regardless, a tip of the hat for an emergency landing well done!



4 Responses to “No prop? No problem!”

  1. Walt Peters Says:

    Any insight into why the prop departed the aircraft? Was this a Lycoming O320 with the crankshaft AD. Did the crankshaft fail and the prop plus part of the crankshaft depart the engine/aircraft, or did the prop bolts or prpp hub fail and the prop separate from the crankshaft. If crankshaft failure was the AD complied with and if so were there any notes in the logbook with respect to the crankshaft condiiton at the last AD inspection?

  2. Jimmy Hawley Says:

    At the very end of the video the crank flange where the prop bolts on is clearly visible. I would guess from this that the prop itself just came apart and separated from the crank. It would be very interesting to examine the prop if it could be found.

  3. Martin Lozano Says:

    I am a Mexican and fly a 172. It is amazing that not only did they keep their cool, but cared for every little detail as to prevent every single little harm to both passengers and people on the ground. At some point, passengers even sound thrilled and excited to be going through such an experience…

  4. Van Rush Says:

    The big lesson here is remember first to fly the plane, then plan the landing. Of course it doesn’t hurt to be aware always of where you are. That saved my bacon once shortly after solo take-off in an Aeronce Chief when the small reinforcerment piece flew off the end of the wooden prop and tdhe imbalance threatened to pull the engine out of the mounts. I was barely over the tree-tops in a thick stand of timber, but I knew there was a big field just beyone if I could make it. Even at idle, the vibration was fierce but I had no choice except to use frequent bursts of powert to stay just clear of the trees. Everything hung together until I had the field made at which point I shut off the engine and at the same time realized too late I was going to touch down in a big drainage ditch perpendicular to my path. I went forward on the control wheel in a thrusting motion and jumped the ditch, barely clearing it. My instructor had been right: “Fly now, pray later.” Congratulations to the l72 pilot.

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