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Emergency Deadstick Landing In A P-51 Mustang

It's not every day that you practice a deadstick landing, let alone do it in real life. But that's exactly what happened to Thom Richard in his P-51, Precious Metal, during a practice run at the Reno Air Races.

As he was crossing pylon 3 at 440 MPH, the massive V12 engine shut down (0:18 in the video). He immediately performed a 5 G pull-up to gain altitude, and then feathered the prop. After some skillful airmanship and last-minute s-turns to lose energy, he put the P-51 safely down on the runway. With a grand-total of 80 seconds from engine failure to touchdown, we'd say he performed flawlessly. Nice work, Thom.

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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