A pilot escaped injury Tuesday when the propeller fell off his single-engine airplane midflight, forcing him to glide to an emergency landing in a field west of Fort Worth.
Initial reports from Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said the pilot was intentionally trying to land the plane at the Trinity Meadows horse track when he misjudged the distance and "ran out of track."
The Federal Aviation Administration later confirmed to NBC 5 that the pilot was making an emergency landing after the propeller on his single-engine aircraft suddenly fell off.
Jack Barnett, 79, of Benbrook, said he was at an altitude of about 2,000 feet when he the prop apparently cracked and split in two before falling from the aircraft.
Barnett guided the plane, identified by FAA records as a 1978 Grumman AA-5B, to the infield of the track. Once on the ground, the plane came to rest in a shallow culvert with damage to both the main and nose gears.
Just a few minutes before, Barnett had taken off from a nearby private airpark for a recreational flight.
At this time, it is not known where the propeller fell or what caused it to separate from the aircraft. According to Lynn Lunsford, the FAA will investigate the incident and try to determine what caused the propeller to become separated from the aircraft.
Initial reports indicated the pilot suffered minor injuries in the landing, but officials now say that isn't the case and that no injuries have been reported.
The track, a venue that was once a site of pari-mutuel wagering and horse racing, sits just north of Interstate 20 in Willow Park about midway between Fort Worth and Weatherford. According to a 2008 article in the Weatherford Democrat, the track was, at that time, being used as a facility for horse training.
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