Are you an aviation enthusiast or pilot? Sign up for our newsletter, full of tips, reviews and more!
It’s hard enough remembering all you’ve been taught and then fly a good solo lesson when all goes as planned. When one of the landing gear falls off your Cherokee as you take off, it can be more complicated.
Seventeen-year-old student pilot Maggie Taraska had just taken off from the Beverly Airport in Massachusetts for her first solo cross country when the tower gave her the heads up that her right main landing gear wheel was gone. Maggie’s immediate response was to get scared, which is totally understandable, but thanks to some great work by the unidentified tower controller and Maggie’s instructor, John Singleton, Maggie was able to land safely and walk away with an amazing story about her solo flight.
Shortly after the hour-long drama was done unfolding, Twitter was abuzz, with live ATC recordings and photos of the damaged plane in flight.
The landing went very well, all things considered. The Warrior Maggie was flying was damaged on landing when it predictably swerved right and took out a taxiway light.
Maggie doesn’t plan to give up on flying. Far from it. She’d like to attend the Air Force Academy. You’ve got our endorsement, Maggie.
In a press conference yesterday, Taraska said of the experience, “Bad things happen all the time, but it can’t deter from doing what you want to do or doing what you love.”
To see footage of Maggie’s remarks and images of the plane, check out this local coverage.