Man heroically repaired plane’s landing gear mid-flight while in a moving car

Joe Lippo really saved the day with his actions
  • A mechanic repaired a plane’s landing gear mid-flight back in 1985
  • He did it while standing in a car
  • The plane was only 10 feet above the ground at the time

Published on Mar 22, 2024 at 4:02PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Mar 25, 2024 at 1:21PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood

A few decades ago, a mechanic managed to repair a plane’s landing gear mid-flight while standing in a car driving at 90mph.

In 1985, pilot Scott Gordon could not land his airplane because the landing gear failed to engage and got stuck.

Thankfully, a heroic mechanic – Joe Lippo – with the help of two other mechanics, helped Gordon land by creatively fixing the landing gear.

READ MORE: Pilot celebrates his ‘once in a lifetime’ flight that will never be repeated

It’s an absolutely incredible story and took some serious courage from everyone involved.

Gordon was flying his single-engine Piper Turbo Arrow out of St. Augustine Airport (now called Northeast Florida Regional Airport).

When he had to land, one side of the plane’s landing gear failed to engage.

The pilot wanted to avoid a belly landing, so mechanic Jim Moser devised an ingenious – if slightly reckless – plan.

At first, Moser, who wasn’t aboard the plane, wanted to take a large truck and let the plane land on its flatbed.

However, the car wasn’t fast enough for that idea to be successful.

So, they thought of another plan that may have been more outlandish than the previous one.

It’s dangerous though – and not something you should try yourself.

Moser went around the airport to get in the fastest car he could find, which – as luck would have it – was his own Audi.

In recent news for the German car manufacturer, Audi is getting rid of its weird naming system.

But let’s head back to 1985, shall we?

After finding the car, Moser drove on the runway at 90 mph while Lippo got out of the sunroof and set the plane’s landing gear free.

At this point, the plane was flying only 10 feet off the ground.

Their heroic stunt made headlines after the fact, with many praising those involved for their bravery.

A journalist filmed the entire event, and the video clip was featured in several TV shows in the 90s.

Although – by today’s standards – it takes a lot more to amaze people, especially when you have fighter jets that can take off and land vertically.

Back then, some people even accused them of orchestrating the whole thing as a publicity stunt.

The heroic stunt was hard to believe as something like this was quite unusual in the 1980s.

“It wasn’t an air show. It was the real thing. But we used the skill and knowledge from air shows to do what we had to do,” Gordon said in an interview.

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