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Real Pilot Story: Lost Elevator

February 24, 2022

Sometimes, we must make deliberate choices that may seem drastic but won’t jeopardize our health. Flying the airplane into the crash under control and having the fuselage absorb the subsequent impact is one such choice.

Just ask Rob Olsen-Drye. Rob was cruising the blue Alaskan summer sky at 1,300 feet msl when he lost elevator authority. “I heard a pop, pulled back on the yoke, and noticed the airplane’s attitude didn’t change. At that point I knew I was going to be landing somewhere.” Luckily among the tall Alaskan forest there was a narrow road within gliding distance. Rob’s skill and proficiency, his airplane’s equipment, and a dose of luck helped him walk away, even though his airplane was totaled.

Watch him describe the sequence of events that took place that day.

AOPA Air Safety Institute staff

AOPA Air Safety Institute Staff members share a deep passion for aviation safety. As compassionate pilots, we bring together safety research, analysis, and knowledge in creative ways to share aviation safety education with you—with the ultimate goal of one day having zero fatal accidents in GA.

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