|Severe wind shear?|
"This is what is left of a Colorado flight instructor's personal aircraft. The instructor was having an affair with a female student and her husband found out. The husband reacted calmly by destroying the instructor's plane with a chainsaw."
The caption above about the damaged plane is what's going around on the Internet. Trouble is, it just ain't so. Here's the real story courtesy of Colin McDonald.
A doctor surgeon from Whyalla, Australia found the battery dead in his Piper Saratoga (a powerful single engine aircraft) at Parafield Airport on the night of August 26th 2001. A planned night flight from Parafield to Whyalla and the discovery of a flat battery should have been enough to go and find something else to do for the night. Night flights over water with any electrical problems should be avoided at all costs. But no...
The good doctor-pilot proceeded to hand start the engine by turning the prop. While this is actually not illegal it should be approached with the utmost of caution and is really only used in remote areas where there is no help or decent pub within a long walk. To make matters worse, he did not chock the wheels or check that the handbrake was engaged, which makes one wonder what he had had to drink prior.
Anyway, the engine fires up at about 2000 rpm and the aircraft starts taxiing toward the runway on its own. The only problem with that is that there were four Piper Warriors and a twin engine Seminole (the sliced plane in picture) in its way. So at a steady rate of forward movement similar to a fairly upset Hippo during breeding season, the Saratoga proceeds on its stately way.
Ah, yes, the pilot. After being knocked down by his own plane, he's now hanging on to the tail of his aircraft trying to stop it going any further and watching in horror as bit by bit it shreds the tail and body of the most expensive aircraft in the vicinity. He thinks that any minute the engine will stop and the nightmare will come to an end. But no. The Saratoga then makes a sharp right hand turn and without conscience heads toward the second most expensive aircraft in its way. Hundreds of litres of avgas spewing out of the damaged aircraft and the pilot barely hanging onto the Saratoga is surely a recipe for total disaster, but, in fact things finally did come to an end. The University of Adelaide lost one plane completely and and the use of four others(just freshly painted) for some time to come, all because of a flat battery and a really bad decision. The pilot was not badly hurt, except in his pride and his insurance company's wallet ($1.5 million).
The end? Not quite. Said doctor is now going to court claiming that the handbrake was engaged at the time of the accident.
Want more details? Check out the web site, http://users.senet.com.au/~colton/Interesting_Stories.html.
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