Plane crash survivors tell their story
Mick Schumacher has been flying since 1988.
But there was one bit of his training he’d never had to use.
Until Friday evening, when he and Bill Hand were in Schumacher’s two-seat light sport aircraft.
“It was beautiful. There wasn’t a ripple in the sky,” Schumacher said.
Then the motor quit.
“It was just a deafening silence all of a sudden. No spits, sputters, wheezes or coughs.”
Schumacher said the two men had been flying for nearly 35 minutes and were enjoying a nice scenic trip at around 1,200 feet.
“We were always taught in pilot training to always fly your airplane if something happens. And I can still remember that in the back of my mind,” said Schumacher.
“So I just told Bill ‘There’s trees to our left and a bean field to our right, and that’s where we’re going to land.’”
Schumacher and Hand recounted the event Monday on A Penny for Your Thoughts on WDWS.
“I’ve had engines kind of cough and kick and miss, but I’ve never had one just quit, go into dead silence,” Schumacher said.
“I made the mistake turning into the sun, and couldn’t see the power lines. It caught my front landing gear ... and I snapped it. There was a slight jolt. And then the landing gear hit the lower line and there was another slight jolt. And from that point to the landing was pretty quick.
Meanwhile, Hand said that there wasn't much time to think once the plane started to go down.
Neither man was injured.
“I think we had another pilot with us.” said Schumacher.
An investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board was at Schumacher’s home on Monday. He tried the engine and it started, so the cause of the failure on Friday is unknown.
For Hand, the wreck didn’t dampen an enthusiasm for flying.
“I’d be right back up there in a heartbeat,” he said. “My wife has different ideas, but I’d be up.”
Schumacher, too: “I’ll be ready to get back in the saddle soon.”