As the former owner of Puddles the now infamous Taylorcraft that experienced an "engine failure" (that Trevor Jacob proceeded to jump out of) I wanted to share a blog post about why you should not jump out of a perfectly good working airplane (even when the engine fails).
The primary reason for writing this blog is so that people don't make the same stupid mistakes and/or have a fear of flying. Engine failures are rare, you can expect in your flying career an engine failure every 5,000 hours (I've had 6).
I've taken Puddles coast to coast. I purchased it in Colorado, flew it to the Pan Handle, and back to the California coast. As someone who has flown more than 100 different types of aircraft, I can say this airplane was a really nice flying airplane. It's been landed in 2-300 feet in farmer's fields and gravel roads and you can literally set it down at 30 miles an hour. I've gotten the airplane off the ground in less than 50 feet with a little bit of a headwind.
First, airplanes want to fly, engine or not. Aerodynamically speaking, airplanes want to go in a straight line without any input. As gravity pulls the airplane down to the Earth, it begins to pick up speed and as it accelerates it wants to pitch up and maintain trim speed (best glide for landing).
Let's just say for shits and giggles your engine will not restart...pick a place to land and go for it, especially if you are in an aircraft (such as a tailwheel) built for landing off pavement. In his video Trevor Jacob says "I'm over mountaineous terrain" as if there is no options.
Having flown in Alaska for 20 years over a lot of mountaineous terrain I can firmly say, there is always a place to put an airplane. It's the pilot's responsibility to fly the airplane first and foremost. Aviate -fly the airplane do what you need to handle the emergency. Navigate -find a spot to land, put the airplane where it needs to be- circling over your intended landing spot. Communicate -when you have -time talk on the radio, this jackass never put out a mayday call, as per video.
Lastly leaving a perfectly good flying airplane behind makes it a projectile that will cause it to go anywhere it wants to go. Essentially it becomes a flying weapon.
In his video Trevor Jacob says "this is why you should always fly with a parachute." The vast majority of pilots do not fly with parachutes (especially sky diving ones) unless they are doing aerobatics or dropping sky divers. Some aircraft are equipped with parachutes. Even if your aircraft, or body is equipped with a parachute, it should literally be a last ditch effort after attempting to restart the engine and/or land the aircraft. Trevor Jacobs video is a prime example of everything you should NOT do, unless you are trashing an airplane for social media likes.
Puddles left my hangar at Adventure Flight Lincoln in October. When I first heard about Puddles ending up in a pile (long before it hit YouTube in mid-November) I felt super disappointed that the airplane was wrecked. My phone blew up when the video came out in mid-December the realization hit that an airplane that had decades more useful life had been unneccessarily destroyed for YouTube likes. Thankfully Trevor didn't hurt or kill anyone in the process.
About the Author
Andy Bibber (CFI, CFI-I, Tailwheel instructor, Aerobatics) has over 35 years of flying experience and about 27,000 hours, he's taught the likes of Kevin Quinn and many others. Having grown up in Maine, Andy spent summers flying floats and winters on skis, hoping frozen lakes. Andy flew for 20 years in Alaska, hauling people, freight and whatever else they could stuff through the door of an airplane.
He’s passionate about what he does and loves to share his knowledge with those who want to learn. In his spare time he and his family take trips in a Twin Beech 18 to fun destinations like the High Sierra Fly In and STOL competition at Dead Cow Lake.
#enginefailure #trevorjacobs #taylorcraft #accident #tailwheel #N29508