October 2009
Featuring N78321

SMAT #3 has in flight prop failure...

Photo's and story by
Michael Kennedy



Well, I was not in AEROBATIC flight when the prop left, but that is an easy
misunderstanding as it was during airshow waiver time.  We were doing a
low level non aerobatic formation display because the weather was too poor
for any aerobatics.  From the photos you can see that God was watching out for me.

The photo 2 shows what is left of the propeller and it tried to tear the engine
off the airplane - in a nano second.  It was just a big BANG with no warning and
then I could not see anything because the canopy was covered in oil.

When the oil thinned out a little I could see the engine sticking up in front
of me with no prop. I just kept the airplane gliding toward the ground
(It was falling out of the sky anyway - gravity!) and wondered what I was
going to hit. Then out of the side of the canopy I could just make out the
ground looking straight down. When I could make out the runway we
were performing over I decided to try the landing gear and it worked.
Then it was just keeping from stalling and waiting to contact the runway.
It was a very smooth touch down and I just rolled over to the side of the runway
and stopped and got out.  I waved at the crowd to let the airshow announcer
I was okay and waited for the crash trucks to arrive.

We will be performing at Sun n'Fun and have a full schedule the next month.
We have been graciously loaned a 210 Swift and hope to be up flying quickly
in my airplane. We are looking for firewall forward right now.

Michael Kennedy