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Plane crashes, no pilot found

Plane was on auto pilot and crashed after it ran out of fuel. (www.foxnews.com) さらに...

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Bill Babis 20
Strange stuff happens. Eons ago I was ferrying a Piper Geronimo from Albuquerque to Cincinnati for auto-pilot repair. During takeoff I noticed the top door latch was open. I figured I close it in cruise. I trimmed the plane up, opened the vent window, slid over to the right seat, and proceeded to try to close door. It wasn't working and I was getting frustrated. I got the brilliant idea to hold the two latches, shove the door open as far as I could, and then hopefully catch the latches as it slammed back shut. Well, I shoved and I'm not sure what the plane did, but next thing I knew I was sitting out on the wing with my feet in the right footwell and my heart beating up around my adam's apple. I scurried back inside, stopped at the next airport and found that the top latch was broke and was never going to latch. If I had been tossed out of that plane, it would probably have come down hundreds of miles away with no pilot onboard. The story would have been; "Why did a young guy that seemed to have so much going for him decide to jump out of the airplane?" I hope the above story turns out ok, but you never know.
Same here. I used to fly skydivers in 182s and one of the planes had a seatbelt that would click in but not lock sometimes. After they jumped I would bank to the right and lean over to close the door and I almost slipped out a couple times because the seatbelt was not locked. Of course I was wearing a parachute but sometimes I think about my would be explanation to the NTSB.
So did you wash your shorts, or just throw them away?
Its actually amazing how tight the sphincter gets when something like that happens.
That is crazy... Glad you did not become an Incident or a Mystery :)
Yes, that was a definite transaction between my bag of luck and bag of experience!
Definitely in the "the next time I do that it will be a mistake" category
Certainly had an error chain going. The worst link was failing to buckle back up when I changed seats. Since then I've never failed to buckle my butt to whatever seat I'm in.
Is D B Cooper at it again?
Sounds like it... Any cash missing from the plane?
Did you happen to notice that when Pilot is found and no plane crashes, it never makes the news? ;~}
indy2001 8
This reminds me of a plan devised by Marcus Schrenker in early 2009. As a financial adviser he had swindled many clients out of several hundreds of thousands of dollars. When people began to catch on and legal action initiated Schrenker tried to fake his own death to avoid the consequences. On January 10, 2009 Schrenker drove a pickup truck from his $4 million lakefront home north of Indianapolis to Harpersville, AL, where he hid a motorcycle. After returning to Indiana he took off the next day in his Piper Meridian supposedly headed for Destin, FL. Near Birmingham, AL he declared an emergency, telling ATC his windshield had imploded and he was bleeding badly. Military jets were sent to intercept his aircraft with the hope that they could help talk him down to a safe landing. After turning on the autopilot Schrenker parachuted out. The empty aircraft continued on for another 200 miles before crashing near Milton, FL. When authorities reached the crash site they found the aircraft with its doors open and windshield intact. It was later determined that Schrenker had landed near the stashed motorcycle, which he rode to a KOA Campground in Quincy, FL. Police captured him at 10 pm on January 13 in a pup tent at the Quincy campground. Just before capture he had slashed his wrist and had lost a lot of blood by the time he was found. After being airlifted to Tallahassee, he made a full recovery and was extradited to Indiana to stand trial. He is currently serving two prison sentences, one federal and the other state. He has also been ordered to pay nearly $14 million in fines and restitution.
This is cruel but if the cops hadn't done all they did to save him, they'd have saved the taxpayers a load of money.
Sid Mann 2
As I recall, it was thought his plan was for the AC to continue to the Gulf of Mexico, about 10-15 miles south of Milton, and crash. Perhaps a case of poor fuel management?
Maybe the same hope of the pilot of the 172 (land in water).
lynx318 4
USS Enterprise transported him off when seeing his dilemma then time jumped back to the future. (shouldn't drink on medication should I?)
It was the Klingon Bird of Prey 'Bounty' that transported him. The question unanswered is why they were looking for a whale in L. Superior in the first place. Any you should stop drinking just as soon as you find a better way to get it down.
How common are autopilots in rental 172's??
The last plane I rented about 2 years ago was about 20 yrs ago and had a 2 axis auto pilot..I guess it really just depends on the FBO or flight club you rent from. Auto pilot is a selling point and I remember an instructor of mine saying back in 2003 th as the VORs were on their way out but like everything else such as NDBs are still being used.
Freaky. I wonder if one of the doors was open or if that could be determined at the crash site. He could have been "relieving himself" and fell out (not that I have ever tried that myself in a Cessna single....). What about personal belongings? This article sure is missing a lot of info.
Foremost the pilot. Did he jump? You don't need a parachute to skydive. You need one to skydive twice.
Or a big net!

Good point... But who says he didn't have one! There is a lot of stuff missing from this article. He may have been suicidal as well... Set the autopilot, jump into a lake or river, no one up there would ever find him and if they do it would be strictly by luck...
I checked the KARB-CYSP route on skyvector.com. A lot of forest and a lot of very cold water under the route. If he bailed, one hopes it was early.
Even more interesting that the course of the aircraft took it out over some of the widest areas across Lake Superior. If the airplane would have run of gas a bit sooner and crashed in the lake and sank, we would not be having this same conversation because no one would know there was no pilot in the airplane when it crashed.
That may have been the plan. It was also at night so few if any would have seen it and had a clue of where to look.
Sounds like he may have found a way to Defect to Canada! A little Radical.. But may have worked!
Oh, hell no. Not another one.
It's always a possibility of a suicide attempt. But if that were the case, I personally put the plane into a 180 degree pure vertical dive, and ride the aircraft to the impact with terrain.

I don't mind heights mind you, but I figure, bailing out of a plane, I'd land on my head, and cause a dent in any pavement/ground I land on - and still come away unscathed. :(
Aliens, parachute
I wonder if the old seat rail locking mechanism turned lose in flight. Had that happen on takeoff once with another pilot luckily there to take control. Climbing with hands on the controls I had the sense to release and not yank the plane into a stall. Not sure if 172 autopilot disengages after pilot inputs cease. But starting some bad flight attitudes and ending up trying to use the door for getting up to the controls I could see unlatching the door scrambling to get forward then a flight attitude dumping a guy out. Then a persistent autopilot settling things down till fuel starvation.

Depending on the type of autopilot if it didn't have heading control (crashed 400 miles from destination) and judging distance flown and hopefully radar an idea of where he departed might be found. Hopefully he wasn't pushing a bad personal O2 supply altitude and mentally lost it from hypoxia.
Ann Arbor Newspaper article:

We still are not getting the back story. Why are the authorities so quick to say self harm and no indications he's alive? He could have parachuted or landed somewhere and sent the plane on its way with a push of the throttle. If he wanted to die or just wants someone to think he's dead, he's accomplished the goal.
Rob Dale 1
They probably have a note and/or video of him getting into the plane without a parachute. With suicides there's no reason to release any more details.
Certainly a note would be pretty conclusive, but simply getting into the plane sans parachute isn't necessarily proof, as Mr. Babis' experience above might suggest: https://flightaware.com/squawks/view/1/7_days/popular/59603/Planes_crashes_no_pilot_found#188459
Rob Dale 2
Agreed - that's why I added the "and/or" portion of it. The police wouldn't conclude suicide just to close the case out quickly.
Fox News needs to get some stock photos of 172's. The photo in the story is a Skylane.
On a serious note, I think if the pilot is ever found, he will either wash ashore, or be found floating in the lake.
Or in the woods if he bailed over land.
If in the woods he could be "Skewered" by now, or an appetizer for a large animal. What they find will probably not be suspected part of the crash and by that time not enough DNA to tell... He could have been eaten by a bear and you know what bears do in the woods...
We crossed the Uppper Penninsula on last year's cross country trip. I would not like to try searching for a body somewhere along a flight path there.


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