A Florida man faced a crash landing in a powerless plane over a four-lane North Carolina road with his father-in-law in the passenger seat. And thankfully, both men lived to tell the tale.
On July 3, Vincent Fraser took his father-in-law out in his 1967 Aero Commander 100 to check out the land he had just purchased near a lake. Fraser began to scale a nearby mountain range but quickly realized something was wrong. just as they began to fly over a North Carolina river, the plane lost power. He restarted the engine three times to no avail.
At that point, Fraser began apologizing to his wife’s father in case they didn’t make it out alive.
“There was nowhere to land so … I think I told him I loved him and that I was sorry for putting him in the situation,” Fraser told the Associated Press.
Understanding their predicament, Fraser’s father-in-law said he loved him, too, and to do the best he could to land the bird.
And that’s exactly what Fraser did.
As a former aviation maintenance technician in the US Marine Corps and a current flight attendant, Fraser knew full well how to perform under pressure, especially in the sky. So, he put his skills to use and stared down the power lines and passing cars before him.
“And from there on, I was just like, ‘Game on. Let’s get down alive,’” he remembered.
Passengers and Plane Come Away Scratch Free After Landing on North Carolina Road
Thanks to a Go-Pro camera on the wing, we get a taste of how nerve-wracking the landing truly was. Confident in his training, though, Fraser navigated the makeshift landing strip in front of him with ease as cars quickly moved to the shoulder to make way for the aircraft.
Finally, the plane touched down on the North Carolina road, and none of the airborne subjects (plane included) had a single scratch.
“Now I know that I can do it and I can make it out alive and safe,” Fraser concluded.
He also shared the incident woke a “passion” in him he thought had left.
Not surprisingly, Fraser has earned a lot of praise from the flying community, including aviation analyst, Captain John Cox.
“The biggest takeaway from the video is that a well-trained pilot (keeps) a cool head and (deals) with a high-stress situation,” Cox shared. “With good training, you can have a very successful outcome.”
Following the impressive landing, a North Carolina mechanic and a certified flight instructor fixed Fraser’s plane for free.
His plane is still in North Carolina and will remain there until Fraser decides whether to sell the plane or take it out for another flight.