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(Video) Piper Stuck at Full Throttle with Family Onboard

A video for weekend viewing. Family of 4 on a piper when the throttle cable breaks, and by design, is stuck at full throttle. He’s flying way above gear speed, only has control of mixture and prop. Great teamwork getting the mechanic on the phone with ATC - and some troubleshooting before forced to make a power off landing.. ( More...

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Highflyer1950 17
The throttle is supposed to default wide open if the cable breaks. Most piper pilots would have flown overhead and placed the mixture in cut -off and let the plane slow to gear speed or ( in the case of a newer Piper Arrow) let the plane slow below auto extension speed, confirm down & locked and fly the closed pattern in a glide? If you got a little low just increase the mixture and engine comes back to life quickly. Return to idle cutoff short final. Had this happen in 1975 only the over centre spring to create full throttle broke as well so all I got was idle and a pissed off farmer!
MultiComm 5
Props (pun intended) for both the pilot and the wife being able to keep their composure through this process. Obviously, once on the ground emotion took over. Glad all are safe!
Yea, loved watching mom once they were safe.
angus perkins 2
Total adrenaline dump. Even I felt it. WOW
rmchambers 1
Yeah she was cool as a cucumber on the inside, and the kids were playing their games. Good to have an active co-pilot resource to help out.
mkeflyer 5
Use the mixture to reduce engine power, get down to safe, landing assured altitude and cut the mixture..glide it down. That''s the training I got during PPL 101.
MultiComm 3
Interestingly enough, this was CPL material for me. I think it definitely should be PPL material. We all learn the engine failure to a grass strip part for the check ride but real life problems need to be taught not canned curriculums.
bbabis 4
Long ago, while flying a V35B after an annual, I had the throttle linkage fall apart at WOT during a trip. I didn’t know it until I needed to make a power reduction for decent. It was obvious what was wrong and I just used the mixture as a throttle. The slow down, dirty up, and landing were all normal just using bursts of power. I even taxied to the hanger. I never mentioned to center, approach, or tower that there was a problem. Nothing they could do and I had a perfectly flyable airplane. When the mechanic opened the left side cowl, the parts were laying right there on the intake manifold and he had it back together and safetied this time in 15 minutes.
MultiComm 4
Good experience and way to handle it!

This individual may not have had exposure to a similar problem and could have been a long tenured pilot or the first flight after PPL checkride. If it said in the video I missed it. Everyone’s experience and resource management is different in emergency situations.
bbabis 5
Oh, I agree! Great job by this pilot. The goal is to always land safely, emergency or not, and he used his resources to do just that. As you say, “Props are due.”
So- SO MUCH HAPPIER ending than what I watched happen in KVRB back in the early 2000`s as two couples departed RR29 in a Cessna T210 and they experienced a broken throttle linkage and the engine went to "idle power". They were not able to complete their turn back to the airport and crashed killing all 4 souls onboard. My wife and I had just landed in our Malibu and witnessed the entire happening. Terrible experience. Almost quit flying over it. So happy this little Family had a safe outcome! Bless them! Thinking an AD resulting from this accident was issued on C210`s Throttle Assembly.
sharon bias 1
So calm and collect during the entire emergency, yet once on the ground, you can see all of the emotions roll over his face.
rick haller 1
Thanks for sharing. Now we've all been through that situation.
Wow, what a video. Great ending.
Doodybutch 1
I had this happen long ago (1970's) with a student on his first ride in a Cherokee 140. I was demonstrating how when you reduce power to zero the plane doesn't fall out of the sky. The cable disconnected I think at the throttle end and the power was at idle and stayed there. Fortunately we were right over an airport (X26) at 3000 feet and we landed there without problems. The plane was fresh out of annual and I think they screwed this up somehow.
Highflyer1950 1
Piper along with the FAA I believe, issued an AD in the early ‘70s to replace or check the throttle cable and the over center spring as well. Apparently instead of flinging the throttle wide open the engine just rolled back to idle? I’m not sure if all carbureted Pipers with the newer throttle quadrant were affected or just the older vernier control types?
Doodybutch 1
It was a quadrant throttle in this particular Cherokee. I have wondered if it disconnects at the throttle end with the throttle at idle does it stay at idle?

BTW in 45 years of flying, this was my only "engine failure" and my only real emergency. I guess I've been lucky.
Shenghao Han 1
When your power plant decided it wants to be a pulse jet (bursts of power only)
You would think for something as critical as this piece, it would have some sort of redundancy . Maybe I would have wend with a rod instead of a cable so it doesn't break as easily.

Same thing with cessna and their electric flaps, they stick frequently, somewhat amazed there is no mechanical backup especially with the criticality of a failure in flaps 40 configuration...
GraemeSmith 1
As an observation - the CAR certification standards in force back in the day for the Flaps 40 Cessna's - still required the plane could climb over a 50ft obstacle in that configuration. (Though testing was on a standard day, not overloaded, with a good pilot, an engine in good shape. :-) )

The flaps got reduced to 30 when the planes got heavier (among other things) as the designs developed. (Source - Cessna Wings for the World - William D. Thompson).
Good job. My advice is to get back in the saddle ASAP.


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