Henry Kroeker believes it wasn’t just flight training that got him through a horrifying plane crash last Saturday.
The 70-year-old pilot crashed his Cessna in Calgary, Canada, and was discovered in the plane’s cockpit – the plane crash-landed upside-down – in a field by some construction workers. =
Despite the severity of the accident, Kroeker managed to walk away with only minor injuries and said he woke up Sunday “a little stiff,” but no worse for wear.
An hour after taking off from Indus Airport Saturday morning, Kroeker began having engine trouble.
“The engine was sputtering when he was going down. I had no power whatsoever when I was coming in, I was flying like a glider at that point,” he told Global News.
Kroeker, who started flying in 2006 and got his license in 2008, outlined the alarming process of coping with engine failure while airborne.
“The first thing you do is turn off all the electrical in the aircraft and make sure that the fuel is turned off to the engine because you don’t want that causing any trouble,” Kroeker said. “It took a few seconds to become oriented because I am upside down and then I went to find where the switches are and I had to stop and think.”
Kroeker attributes his survival in part to his ritual of always saying a prayer before and after a flight.
“I am very thankful. I always say a prayer before I take off, and I always say a prayer when I walk away from the aircraft, and I did that,” he said. And thankfully, the angels that were helping me fly that little job, kind of did a little bit of guiding too – and they probably got muddy.”
He added: “I think I burned the wings off 1,000 angels and the rest probably got in the mud.”