Today, April 1st, 2001, AVfalsch has a many interesting articles. The newsletter is viewable at avfalsch.com . Here is one of the segments:
“The chute worked like a charm. And the prize money will come in handy to pay the fines,” said pilot Joe Eschenbach after landing his Cirrus SR-20 in El Centro, Calif. Eschenbach, who just logged his 80th hour as a private pilot, was returning last Sunday afternoon with his wife and two children from a weekend outing in Mexico. He was twelve miles south of Calexico, Calif., his port of arrival, descending for landing, when the engine began running rough. He tried switching tanks, checking his magnetos, using alternate air and rocking the wings, all to no avail. Just as he declared an emergency, in both English and Spanish, the engine quit. Without hesitation, he used the Ballistic Recovery System parachute that had attracted him to the SR-20 in the first place. A stiff wind out of the South carried the airplane over the border, past Calexico, to NAS El Centro, the winter home and training site for the Blue Angels, who had just finished performing their thank-you show after six weeks of training there. Eschenbach was greeted by a cheering crowd estimated at 400,000, and a fleet of U.S. Customs helicopters estimated at seven. Eschenbach and his family were ordered to the ground at gunpoint, and then presented with a check for $100. The stiff wind had befuddled even the best of the airshow pilots, but Eschenbach nailed it, and won the spot-landing contest for the weekend.