Lane Aviation Academy student Jacob Brands experienced a unique flying lesson on Friday, April 14. Shortly after the single engine VAN RV12 took off from the Eugene Airport the oil pressure dropped to zero. The engine died above Highway 99 at 2:20 p.m. Disaster was averted thanks to the flight training of Brands, and Brandon Wynn, one of Lane Community College’s flight instructors.
Wynn instructed Brands to keep watch for vehicles as he took over piloting the plane. The goal was to reach the Eugene Airport. Wynn and Brands had one close call with a vehicle on the road.
“One car was right below us, but luckily this plane doesn’t go very fast. They outran us, and I am sure they got a nice surprise in their rearview as we touched down behind them,” Wynn told The Register Guard on April 15.
Brands, 22, and Wynn, 26, ultimately landed on Hwy 99, one mile shy of the airport. It was then pulled into Fiddler’s Green parking lot. There were no injuries reported.
“It was crazy. It was scary. But he (Wynn) kept his cool,” Brands told The Register Guard.
Fiddler’s Green has not spoken with the Lane Aviation Academy to date.
“I am very grateful to the guys at Fiddler’s Green for letting me briefly park my plane in their lot,” Wynn said in an email.
According to Wynn, Aviation students do not learn about or practice emergency situations until the seventh or eighth flight lesson. This was Brand’s third lesson.
“This is an instructor’s dream come true when a student can experience an emergency and go straight into learning mode again,” Wynn said.
The United States Federal Aviation Administration enforces policies and procedures all-inclusive for flying. Following the landing, safety procedures were strictly followed. The plane was ferried off the runway and scrutinized for damage. Paperwork was filled out per regulation for the FAA, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the airport and Lane.
Lane Aviation Academy offers two options for students — Aviation Mechanical Technician and two-year Associate’s of Applied Science degree.