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Pilot involved in Calgary plane crash says guardian angels helped him out

CALGARY – Henry Kroeker, the pilot involved in the plane crash that happened in southeast Calgary Saturday, was flying out to Millarville at 1000 feet when things started to go haywire.

“I think I burned the wings off a 1000 angels and the rest probably got in the mud,” Henry Kroeker said.

70-year-old Kroeker took off from Indus Airport Saturday morning and an hour into his flight, noticed engine trouble.

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“The engine was sputtering when he was going down.  I had no power whatsoever when I was coming in, I was flying like a glider at that point.”

That’s when he said his pilot training took over.

Kroeker said it all happened so fast, all he had time to think of was finding a place to land where he wasn’t going to harm anyone on the ground.

He was upside down in his flipped over ultra light when construction workers working in the community of Walden found him in the muddy field.

EMS was called to Macleod Trail near 210 Avenue southeast around 11:40 a.m. Saturday morning, after witnesses called reported the small plane crash in the community of Walden.

Kroeker was taken to Foothills hospital in non-life threatening condition, he suffered minor soft-tissue injuries.

Kroeker said he felt a little stiff Sunday,  but aside from that and a few scrapes and bruises, he’s okay.

“At that point I knew I wasn’t going to make it when the engine finally decided that was it. So the first thing you do of course is, you’ve got just a few seconds to make your choice and you have to pick a place where you are going to put it down and that’s exactly what I did,” Kroeker said.

“I had no power whatsoever when I was coming in. I was flying like a glider at that point. You become so involved in what you are doing that nothing else matters.  You just concentrate on where to put that plane so that you are not going to hurt anyone else.”

“The first thing you do is turn off all the electrical in the aircraft  and make sure that the fuel is turned off to the engine because you don’t want that causing any trouble,” Kroeker said.  “It took a few seconds to become oriented  because I am upside down and then I went to find where the switches are and I had to stop and think.”

“I am very thankful. I always say a prayer before I take off and I always say a prayer when I walk  away from the aircraft and I did that,” Kroeker said. “And thankfully the angels that were helping me fly that little job, kind of did a little bit of guiding too and they probably got muddy.”

Kroeker started flying in 2006 and got his license in 2008.

He lives just outside of Calgary.