Border Collie Flies High, Lands Hard

Border Collies are known for their gravity defying leaps and spins on the frisbee field, and on occasion a spectacular crash and roll. But New Mexico Border Collie Jade and his owner Jim Grainger bring a whole new meaning to crash landing:

A Taos man and his dog walked away from his fiery aircraft Sunday morning (Sept. 30) after he “controlled-crashed” about a mile short of the Taos Municipal Airport runway.

Jim Grainger told The Taos News that he got up to about 8,000 feet altitude just over the Rio Grande Gorge, when finger-sized flames started coming out of the console in front of him.

“Fuel ignited in the turbo, burned up the engine, then the plane,” he said after arriving back at the airport tarmac. “The engine ran out of fuel.”

Grainger and his Border Collie Jade scrambled clear of the aircraft as it slid to a stop on the sage south of the runway, and they managed to get luggage out of the front and save his passport.

“I lost my billfold, glasses and cell phone,” he told his wife Nelle, who was at the airport shortly after the plane went down. “Everything else I got…”

The Taos News Online

…especially the dog!

It’s encouraging to see Mr. Grainger got his priorities straight: who needs money, clear vision, or an emergency form communication when you’ve got a Border Collie? And even more bonus points for Mr. Grainger having Jade secured in-flight with a nice harness, I’m sure Jade appreciated staying in his seat and not flying through the windshield during their controlled crash landing.

I think I’m going to start using that car harness I bought for my dogs more consistently now.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.