A Minnesota pilot who pulled the parachute on his Cirrus SR22 over a wilderness area of Quebec says he hopes his well-documented account of his experience can help others if they find themselves in similar straits. Matt Letinen, the CEO of a Minnesota mining company, was flying back from a mine his company operates in Labrador when the engine failed in the Cirrus. He glided away from a lake and pulled the handle over dense bush with the nearest airport, Sept Iles, about 60 miles away. The aircraft settled on a large tree that pierced the cabin and tore his shorts. He got out of the wreck and was able to contact rescue services and his family with a personal tracking device and suddenly had time on his hands.
He said he felt “very compelled to document the experience” and started shooting video with his cellphone. What resulted was an edited video, complete with soundtrack, that points out the things that went right and wrong with his crash. It also showed how RCAF search and rescue personnel coordinate a successful rescue. All in all, Lehtinen scored pretty highly on the survival test and earned praise from his rescuers for his equipment and deliberate efforts to aid the rescue. Lehtinen criticized himself for not carrying any food, water or other supplies that would have been handy and eventually necessary if he hadn’t been plucked out of the woods within a few hours.