Great Fly-Out, except for one major hitch! We headed for Carroll County airport with 7 airplanes (with 16 people), but only 6 landed there. The Twin Comanche had a problem on approach and he couldn’t get the gear down!
To get the entire story with embellishments, and to determine the “pucker factor,” you need to talk to Carl Braddock, Rollie Bailey and Carl Oblinger, who experienced this unusual adventure together.
Long story short, they aborted the landing at Carroll County and headed back toward Newark-Heath, all the while burning off fuel and trying to get the gear down following the emergency checklist. Luckily, Rollie was in the back seat, since more “beef” was needed to push the manual gear handle forward to release the gear. No matter how hard the two Carls pushed on the handle, it wouldn’t budge all the way. It was discovered later that the handle was misaligned, so it was only by the Grace of God (and a dose of inhuman strength) that Rollie was able to push the handle to its forward limit using his feet.
While this was happening, the other 13 of us were happily, but prayerfully, having breakfast at the airport restaurant at KTSO. The other attendees and their points of origin were:
Cessna 152: Gaye and Dick Perdue (KTVA)
Cessna Skylane: Charles & Cathy Rhoads (KTVA)
Cessna Skylane: Tom & Malcolm McFadden (KGQQ) Galion via (KVTA)
Dave Minnick Cessna 170:
Ralph Brandon & Chris Russell (6G4) Wynkoop
Cessna Skylane: Charles Deal & Darlene Ford (KTZR) Bolton Field
Vans RV-9A: Ken & Marie Hughes (KLHQ)
About the time breakfast was over, the “adventure” came full circle when Rollie called us to say that the gear came down manually, at last – an answer to our prayers and the end of a frightening time for our three friends.
Weather-wise, it was a great day and came with a happy ending!
As your fly-out coordinator and VP always says, “Blue Skies Always.”
Ken Hughes, for Rollie Bailey
Rollie caught walking away from the plane: