79-year-old Paul Garstad pulled off a successful crash landing at Stavanger Airport, Sola on Thursday after his single-engine airplane lost its propeller.
“I heard a ‘bang’ and then the propeller flapped off,” the veteran pilot and flight instructor told Stavanger Aftenblad after emerging unscathed from the dramatic landing.
Garsted, who is described as a legend amongst the local light aircraft community, said the plane was flying at a speed of 200 kmh when the propeller suddenly fell off.
The pilot said that emergency landings like these are something that he has practised and that he always notes possible emergency landing spots while flying.
He said the folks in the control tower were “more flustered than me” when he contacted them to tell them he had lost his propeller.
After telling them he was coming in, Garsted flew nearly 2.5 km without a propeller before making a smooth landing on the Sola runway.
His heroics at the controls bring to mind those of Harrison Ford, the actor best known for roles as Han Solo and Indiana Jones. However, the Hollywood star was a mere 72 years old when he made a successful crash landing on a California golf course in March 2015.
Garsted’s missing propeller was later found by Arnstein Løvbrekke in nearby Tjelta.
“I heard a bang over my house and could hear that the motor stopped. I saw that the propeller had fallen off the plane, and I saw roughly where it fell to the ground. I found it, and eventually the police came and took it,” Løvbrekke told NTB, adding that he was happy the propeller did not hit his house.
The Accident Investigation Board Norway (Statens havarikommisjon) and the Civil Aviation Authority (Luftfartstilsynet) have been notified of the incident.