Jay Perdue figures at least three factors led to his surviving an April 19 accident that saw his Mooney destroyed, injuring himself and two others. He summed up the accident by saying “My situation overran my experience”. His airplane impacted terrain just beyond McKinnon (TN) Airport’s 3,000 ft runway and skidding between two trees before stopping in a grassy area.
Regarding his close call by missing the trees, he said “That was 100 percent a God thing. Pilots don’t do those sort of things, God does.” The Leaf Chronicle newspaper in Clarksville, TN, reports that Perdue escaped with multiple fractures to his right leg, shattered bones in his left hand, a broken nose and a few facial bone fractures. His 81-year-old father Joe suffered a shattered left knee cap and an abrasion on his arm. The other passenger Andrea Hollenstein suffered a fractured wrist and broken finger.
FAA investigators said Perdue’s status as a new pilot, having earned his license late in 2011 was a factor. Next, his attempt to land on the shortest runway he’d yet encountered increased the accident risk. Last, Perdue hadn’t verified wind direction and unknowingly attempted a downwind landing. Perdue said the plane, purchased to commute to his home in Amarillo TX was a total loss.