Pilot Chad Barber has released video of the moment his plane’s engine stopped and his aircraft went into free fall over Coral Springs, Florida, in May 2017.
Barber recalled to WSVN how he calmly focused himself on re-starting the engine:
I was practicing some aerobatics. I had a sequence set I was performing, and I was just following that sequence. It happened at 2,500 feet when I lost fuel.
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.
Survival was the first thing. I focused on surviving. I did a little quick prayer in the 45 seconds that it had all happened.
I said, “Don’t let this be my last day. Lord, don’t let it be my last day.” I always pray before I fly too, before I go up.
Barber wrote more about the incident on his YouTube page:
[T]he fuel flop tube was not able to draw enough fuel to maintain combustion and caused the engine to stop.
A successful re-start occurred approximately 45 seconds after engine failure with a loss of about 2,400 feet. A new and longer flop tube has been installed and there will be no more negative maneuvers with less than 10 gallons.