Abbotsford pilot stayed 'surprisingly' calm through crash-landing
An Abbotsford pilot who crash-landed his plane Friday afternoon says he was “surprisingly calm” throughout the terrifying ordeal.
Ryan Curr had to make an emergency landing in his Piper aircraft after his landing gear refused to deploy.
The seasoned pilot of 10 years spent the better part of an hour trying to fix the issue – with no luck.
Knowing what came next, Curr circled Abbotsford airport for a few hours to burn off fuel before attempting a landing.
Still, Curr said, he remained calm, cool and collected – for the most part.
"I was good throughout it, right until I talked to the tower for the last time,” he said. “He was giving final instructions and then he said, ‘Okay, good luck,’ and that was the end, and then my stomach just kind of dropped out because I was like, ‘wow, this is actually happening.’"
Before attempting the risky maneuver, Curr made a few important calls in case the unthinkable happened.
“The hardest part was I made a couple calls to my wife and to my parents just to say ‘I think it’s gonna be okay. This happens, I’m trained, but just in case – I love you,’” he said.
“That was a tough call,” Curr’s wife Nicola recalled. She was working in Vancouver when her husband called her from the cockpit of the broken plane.
A family member picked her up and drove her to the airport. She watched as her husband landed the aircraft belly-first on the runway.
“Moment by moment, you’re just wanting it to get down and for him to get down safe,” she said. “Everything stops and you’re just watching the plane come down. It was slow motion, really more than anything.”
A camera was rolling as Curr’s small plane hit the runway – sparks showering from the point of contact as it quickly slowed down and came to a halt.
Curr opened the passenger door while the plane was still moving and jumped out the second it came to a stop – remarkably escaping with no injuries.
He called the ordeal a “freak accident,” having only bought the aircraft recently. An engineer is currently investigating what caused the landing gear to fail.
The brush with disaster hasn’t lowered his spirits when it comes to flying.
Curr said he’ll definitely be up in the air again, as soon as the couple assesses how much damage was inflicted to the plane – and their bank account.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Scott Hurst