Student Pilot Who Landed Safely After Losing a Wheel on First Solo Flight Returns to the Air
Maggie Taraska is back in the cockpit, five days after the tense landing.
The 17-year-old student pilot who successfully landed a plane that lost a wheel during her first solo flight marked her return to the air just days after the frightening incident.
Maggie Taraska had just taken off in a single-engine Piper PA-28 Warrior Sunday when the aircraft’s right main wheel fell off.
"I was just petrified, I was thinking about all of the bad things that could’ve happened; I was thinking about how my parents were on the ground and I knew that they were watching," Taraska told Inside Edition.
Taraska circled the Beverly Regional Airport in Massachusetts for a half-hour under the guidance of her flight instructor and air traffic controllers, and was able to walk away unscathed after landing the plane perfectly.
And just several days later, Taraska returned to the tarmac and returned to the sky.
"I’m not nervous right now,” she said ahead of her flight. “I don’t know how I’m gonna feel once I’m up there, but I’m hopeful everything’s going to be fine."
Taraska went to work ensuring her pre-flight safety inspections were completed before taking off, checking the wings, wheels and under the hood before buckling up and starting the engine.
Taraska’s flight instructor, John Singleton, accompanied her on the flight, which lasted about 30 minutes.
Her parents, both Air Force veterans, watched from the ground and sang her praises. And Taraska was all smiles as she landed the plane safely.
“It feels amazing,” she said of being back up in the air. “It feels really freeing."
Taraska has already logged 60 hours of flying.
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