POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A pilot performing stunts mid-air over Broward County suddenly had engine trouble, and he told 7News about the seconds he had to avert danger.
Pilot Chad Barber was flying a plane out of Pompano Beach when the engine stopped working. Barber was wearing a GoPro camera, and it recorded the whole thing.
The hum of the plane could be heard in the video when all of a sudden it stopped.
“I was practicing some aerobatics. I had a sequence set I was performing, and I was just following that sequence,” Barber said. “It happened at 2,500 feet when I lost fuel.”
The 26-year-old explained what had happened. “The fuel tank has a flop tube in it that moves freely,” Barber said, “and that ended up not being able to pick up the fuel in the tank at the right time, so it ended up that the engine quit.”
The plane began to descend over Coral Springs.
“Survival was the first thing. I focused on surviving,” he told 7News. “I did a little quick prayer in the 45 seconds that it had all happened.”
He was just 20 feet off the ground at that point. “I said, ‘Don’t let this be my last day. Lord, don’t let it be my last day,'” Barber said. “I always pray before I fly too, before I go up.”
Barber typically does these kind of aerobatic moves in the air. The incident happened last May, but Barber said it took him a long time to release the video, and he told 7News the reason he wanted to release it now.
“I want people to understand that when something does go wrong, you should remain calm as a pilot,” he said. “It makes you realize that you don’t have control of your life really.”
At nearly the last possible second, the engine turned over and the plane could be seen being lifted off the ground.
Barber was in awe and could be heard in the video saying, “Oh, my God.”
“It makes you understand that we’re here on the earth temporarily, and I could have lost my life,” Barber said.
Barber told 7News that the incident had a profound effect on his life. His message is to not take anything for granted and appreciate every single moment.
Copyright 2020 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.