The old saying is “any landing you walk away from is a good landing” but this is about as close as anyone can get to dying in an airplane while still walking away.
In northwestern Wisconsin, the Rice Lake Fire Department, via its Facebook page, said the plane’s pilot, James Kleven, smelled something hot while taking off and he decided to get the thing on the ground.
It was a good decision. Any delay in making it would’ve been fatal.
Kleven tells the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram he didn’t see the flames near his feet until he and a passenger were leaving the airplane.
Short of a wing falling off, there’s no greater threat to pilots than an onboard fire.