Student Pilot Loses Engine, Calmly Finds A Safe Place To Land
Every pilot has stories to tell, and Student Pilot Brian Parsley is starting his piloting life off with one big one that can be a lesson for any pilot.
According to the video of the incident, it was his first solo cross country flight in a Cessna 150.
On May 22, 2021 Student Pilot Brian Parsley was completed his solo long cross country flight. Approximately 12 miles from airport started experiencing rough engine. Assuming it was "carb ice" took appropriate measures. The camera was started after it cleared to show instructor should it happen again. Shortly after communicating to ATC the video picks up.
When Brian lost the engine, he could be heard explaining to Air Traffic Control that it was sputtering and losing power. The tower cleared the runway for him, but he knew he wouldn't make it.
He explained that he was over a residential area currently, but he was looking for a field to set the plane down in.
"I have touched down," Brian told the tower.
"The aircraft ran out of fuel and this was 100% my responsibility at the end of the day. I did do my flight plan, checked fuel, and all necessary checks prior to leaving," He explained in the video description. "It's also worth noting I've flown the same route with my instructor without refueling prior. So using this assumption and the fact I did my flight planning correctly I flew. This was the wrong decision and the biggest takeaway for me."
Really, it's wild to see how fast things can go bad. The video is only 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and when it starts, he's flying along just fine. When the video is over, he's on the ground with no time-lapse.
"The first ten seconds was panic mode it’s almost like this disbelief is this really happening," Brian said in a follow up video. "I could hear my confident calm tone begin to shift and change but after about 10 seconds I knew I was faced with absolute incredible task saturation within that moment and the strange thing began to happen because I’m looking around and I’m saying okay I know there’s a field here …I had to make a choice okay and once I kind of said okay this is where I’m going it was almost like an out of body experience in a way although I was consciously there and muscle memory kicked in."
Check out his retelling of the story here: