Pilot Matt Lehtinen, flying over a forest in Quebec July 27, 2019, could not have been better prepared for a loss of oil pressure and engine failure:
- The plane was a Cirrus-SR22 that had a ballistic parachute recovery system, what the company calls a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS).
- He had a Garmin emergency communication device (that probably sent text messages via satellite).
- He had a survival kit.
- He remained alert, kept calm, thought clearly, and acted decisively.
It appears that he was not seriously injured. He sent a message that included his location and then started a small fire to create smoke to make it easier for him to be seen. Eventually a C-130 flew over and dropped para-cargo for him that included a radio. Next a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter appeared, dropped off a crewman or two, and extracted him with a hoist. All within five hours.
And the reason we know all this is that he documented every step on video.
He wrote at the end of the video, “Thank you to the service members of the Canadian Royal Air Force, Mounted Police, law enforcement, search and rescue, air traffic control and Nav Canada. You are my heroes, and you saved my life. Sincerely, A Grateful American.”
Great job, Mr. Lehtinen, the Air Force crew, and the other agencies!