HARRISBURG, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Brian Parsley’s story is one that could’ve ended so much differently–but it came to an end, without him getting so much as a scratch, in a field in Harrisburg.
“I truly did not have a near-death experience, like my life passed before my eyes or anything like that,” said Parsley, a professional speaker who is also a student pilot. “It was like an out-of-body experience, like watching a movie.”
Back in May, he was taking off from Concord Regional for an important trip on his student piloting.
“It’s considered a ‘long cross country flight’, which is one of the last steps before getting your license,” he said.
The flight itself was from Concord Regional, to Florence, then to the Anson County airport, then back to Concord.
He was on the last leg of the trip when something happened. Parsley was recording his landing for critiques from his flight instructor when the engine started having problems.
“I believe that I did everything correctly with my flight plan. I had a full tank of gas when I left,” he said.
In the video, which has since gone viral–one of the posts has gained more than 500,000 views–the gauges in his small plane went to zero, and his propeller stopped.
“The reality was that I ran out of fuel,” he said.
Parsley can be seen shaking in the video, something he doesn’t remember doing.
But whatever fears he had were overridden by a mission to land safely. He did, at that field of Pembrook Road in Harrisburg.
Online commenters to the video, which was also posted on his personal YouTube page, have praised his being calm and collected in the face of what could have been a tragic situation.
Parsley, for his part, said the entire experience has been a lesson for him, and he wants it to be a lesson for others, too.
“I wanted to help save someone’s life,” he said. “If someone could learn what I did wrong, it could be valuable.”