The chances of getting hit by a falling helicopter are low, but they are never zero.
Logan Schneider had just graduated from high school two days before his 19th birthday. He was helping his brother take care of his cherry orchard in Wenatchee, Washington, when literally everything went wrong. He was driving a tractor through a row of trees when a helicopter fell out of the sky and landed on him.
Just before the crash, Logan was wearing headphones that blocked out the noise. He says he heard a few thumps and looked up just in time to see the helicopter heading straight for him. As it crashed, it knocked down high-voltage power lines.
He did not even have time to brace himself before a fire started and pinned him against the steering wheel. As he got out of the wreckage, he heard the pilot, Cori Johnson, yell for help.
“I heard him screaming,” Logan recalled. “I looked and I saw him upside down hanging. Fire was everywhere. When I was in the moment I really wasn’t thinking. I was just doing.”
Logan reached through the flames and unhooked the pilot’s safety harness, letting him escape the fire. Once he was up on his feet, Logan helped him get away just seconds before flames shot 30 feet into the air.
“Looking at what happened, I don’t know how we both got out,” Logan said.
Before putting out the fire, firefighters had to de-energize the power lines. Cori and Logan were both taken to the hospital with minor but painful injuries. Cori had a broken arm and multiple burns, whereas Logan had second-degree burns on his arms and muscle damage in his back.
“They took me in the ambulance with the guy, and we went to the hospital,” Logan said. “I’m lucky to be alive.”
Logan spent about five hours in the hospital where several people told him he was so lucky he should go buy a lottery ticket. So he did!
“I did!” Logan said. “I won two bucks! The craziest thing about the whole situation is the pilot and I share the same birthday. I just thought it was so bizarre.”
Even more strange things happen in this story. Logan has always wanted to go to aviation school and become a pilot for a commercial airline. He is still planning to fly at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake, Washington, this fall, even though he crashed. If anything, this terrible accident has made him more sure of what he believes and strengthened his convictions.
“I feel like I always have someone watching over me, God watching over me, protecting me,” he said. “And you never know when it could be your last moment.”
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