Pilot safely lands plane at old Parker County racetrack after lo - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Pilot safely lands plane at old Parker County racetrack after losing propeller

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A pilot safely landed a plane Tuesday afternoon in Parker County after losing a propeller mid-flight. Losing a propeller 2,000 feet up in the air would cause most people to panic, but for the 79-year-old pilot, no prop was no problem.

Jack Barnett set the plane down safely near an abandoned racetrack in Willow Park.

Barnett said that his first thought was to just find a place to land, and since he was right over I-20, he was looking for a place that didn't involve cars or houses.   

"It's just one of those things that, uh, when you fly, it may happen; it may not," said Barnett.

In an instant, the Benbrook pilot had no power and no runway.

His target became the racetrack, and he landed at an old infield for the track.

"It looked flat to me, but there was a big ditch down there and that's what I hit -- the ditch," said Barnett.

Barnett's first call when he landed was to his wife, Virginia.

"Well, he called me and he said, ‘Guess what? I just crashed the plane,'" said Barnett's wife. "I said, ‘What!?' I said, ‘Well, are you OK?' He said, ‘Yeah, but the plane's tore up.' I said, ‘Well, as long as you're OK. It's just a piece of metal. Don't worry about it.'"

To land safely, Barnett says he simply kept his airspeed up and glided right in.

He had a couple of bloody knuckles, but he says the plane was worse off.

"Well, I got a broken main gear, broken nose gear and of course no prop," said Barnett.

Barnett's not sure of what caused the propeller to come off, but says he thinks the bolts that held the propeller on broke off at some point.

"I could blame it on a duck or something, but I didn't see the duck," he said.

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