No pilot ever wants to deal with an engine failure. All pilots train for it, but it’s by no means an experience anyone wants to have to handle. For one pilot in Florida, this nightmare became a reality.
Bill Orban was flying in a small, single-engine airplane earlier this week when his engine quit. Thinking quickly, he adjusted his flight controls as necessary to glide and attempt to land. Scanning the area below, he realized his options were limited.
From My Sun Coast:
“I just kept looking around, and never lost my cool, you know, you’re gotta land it somewhere,” Orban told ABC 7. “I just kicked the rudder to bring it away from the pond, or the lake, and then it started heading towards the house, so I just jumped on the rudder again and it just kind of skidded around and that was it.”
Pretty impressive, right? Without an engine providing power, this man successfully landed an airplane, didn’t cause any damage to nearby people or buildings, and he walked away from it. Even more impressive, the aircraft wasn’t banged up too badly. Still, Orban thinks there’s room for improvement.
“Actually, if I could’ve gone straight, I don’t think the airplane would’ve got hurt at all,” he says.
So, where did Mr. Orban, who, by the way, is 92 years old, get so skilled at flying? Well, aside from over 70 years of experience, he also has some combat time under his belt. In his younger days, Bill Orban flew the B-24 Liberator, a bomber, over Germany in World War II.
Yeah, that might have something to do with it. My hat’s off to this man. He served his country, kept pursuing his love of aviation, and refuses to let something like old age get in the way of him. Mr. Orban is just another example of why the Greatest Generation is truly great..
[via My Sun Coast]