Pilot who survived crash near Wickenburg speaks
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The man who piloted a plane that crashed north of Wickenburg is speaking out about the ordeal.
The crash happened in a very remote area, and the two people onboard, including the pilot, were heading to a business meeting in Lake Havasu from Scottsdale.
"Im not gonna fly a plane again," said Sam Moeller, one week after what would become his last time piloting a flight. He now sits with a broken back and a broke hand.
"Im hurtin'," said Moeller.
On June 19, Moeller was flying to his law office in Lake Havasu with Ken Kendall onboard. The flight went downhill, halfway between Wickenburg and Lake Havasu City.
"The oil temperature in the plane just shoots through the roof," said Moeller.
The oil pressure shoots down into the subteens, and the plane then began to lose power. Moeller then put out a mayday call, and was looking for somewhere to land. Prescott, 60 miles east, was too far. Wickenburg was closer, but there was an issue.
"We got big mountains there, and I cannot clear those mountains," said Moeller. "We're already losing power. We're going down. I'm not going up."
Moeller sees farming communities in the distance where he hopes to make a flat landing.
"We almost crest the hill, and that bloody engine just completely blows out," said Moeller.
Their elevation was still at about 6,000 feet, and Moeller says there was only one option.
"I pull the chute," said Moeller.
The whole plane parachute, a last resort, is rare to find on small aircrafts. The plane Moeller was flying was rented for the day, and he picked one similar to his own, but with a parachute.
"We would not be here, had that parachute not brought us down," said Moeller.
The plane plummeting to the ground, leveling out somewhat but the impact still hard.
"Start getting out, and there's a pile of fireball," said Moeller.
Moeller and Kendall make it up the hill, as the plane explodes.
"This was the scariest flippin' thing that has ever happened to me," said Moeller.
NTSB is still investigating, but Moeller says at this point, it's looking like it was a cylinder that blew on the plane.