Watch A Pilot Narrowly Avoid Houses After An Engine Failure Forces An Emergency Landing

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Folks are pretty rattled about problems with big jets thanks to some high profile incidents involving Boeing aircraft, but it’s actually the little guys you have to look out for. Case in point, this small Cessna which came incredibly close to crashing through someone’s house over the weekend.

The crash occurred in Sydney, Australia on Sunday when a Cessna 210 lost power during its approach to Bankstown Airport in Sydney’s southwest. The plan skimmed across a neighborhood of trees and houses before barely clearing the hanger and landing belly-down on the runway before skidding into the grass.

Pilot Jake Swanepoel and his female companion were able to simply walk away from this crash, according to the Australian Broadcasting Company. He told CNN (via Nine News) that he’d retracted the landing gear to avoid hitting roof tops.


“It was gliding, there was no power,” pilot Jake Swanepoel told Nine News. “We clipped the trees, and we just made it over the hanger.”

Swanepoel managed to land the plane on an airport taxiway, where it skidded to a stop on its belly.

Swanepoel told Nine News that he retracted the landing gear because the plane was so low he thought it might hit the roofs of houses as the aircraft made its nerve-wracking approach.

Ground staff dashed to assist them, but Swanepoel and his partner Karin climbed out of the aircraft unscathed. “We didn’t think we were going to make this landing strip here,” Karin told Nine News.

The incident is under investigation. CNN notes Swanepoel has 29 years of piloting under his belt, which likely saved his and his partner’s life. Small planes aren’t as dangerous as you might think, but they can be deadly in the hands of an inexperienced pilot. Just a few months ago, a teenage pilot crashed his Cessna 172 just outside of Sydney only he wasn’t as lucky as Swanepoel. The 16-year-old died after reaching only 1,500 feet. But even drifting through the sky in these glorified gliders is safer than driving.

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