You've probably seen the ironic photo of a crashed plane in a tree next to the sign that says "Learn to Fly Here" floating around the web or in your inbox, but you probably didn't know the story behind it.
Check-Six has the article, originally written by Christopher L. Freeze for the November 2007 issue of AOPA Pilot about the pilot who crashed:
... Brookham was flying the downwind leg of his first pattern, to the northeast of the runway, and starting to descend when, at around 5 pm and for no apparent reason, his engine lost power.
Brookham had an immediate feeling of something being very wrong. [...]
Finishing with a check of his fuel systems, and unable to restart the engine, Brookham glided downwards. But, with only 40 knots of airspeed, in the pitch black of the night, and with a wind-milling propeller, his options were limited. He chose his base to land, lining up with the east-west road running near the airport, Judge Orr Road, and continued to glide downward for a forced landing. He hoped to land on Judge Orr Road, and have the airplane stopped by the time he reached the intersection of Highway 24.
Brookham stated, "I was just trying to get the airplane down safe." He knew that there were homes in the vicinity of the airport, and didn’t want to hurt anyone. But, in the darkness, in the seconds before touchdown, as he tilted the plane’s nose downwards, he saw a frightening pairs of lights - those of an oncoming car!
Read the rest over at Check-Six
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