WINNIPEG - A pilot and his passenger walked away from the wreckage of a Cessna 182 float plane after crash-landing on a portage near Louise Lake, Ont., Friday.
Retired airline pilot Kirby Funk, 48, credits his 5,000 hours flying commercial and turbo-prop aircraft for the know-how that helped him avoid tragedy.
"God and experience were on our side for sure," Funk said Saturday.
Funk, who is owner/operator of Cottage Country Marine Maintenance on Louise Lake, was accompanied by an employee for the routine flight.
He noted nothing unusual on take-off from the lake about 12 km north of Kenora, Ont., off Hwy. 596, around 5 p.m.
"The plane was already flying, the flaps were up and climb power was on and when it got up to about 85 knots I started levelling off to build up speed when the engine started backfiring and popping," he recalled.
Instinctively, Funk initiated emergency procedures, checking fuel tank switches and ensuring the magnetos and carburetor heat were on.
"We were running out of altitude and I told the passenger to brace for impact," Funk said. "I purposely went in on one side to take the impact on one wing and spin in so all the force wasn't on the engine and firewall which is where our legs and bodies would be."