A stunt pilot landed his small plane off of Deer Park Avenue in Babylon, N.Y., which is on Long Island, but this was no trick. The small plane’s engine supposedly seized forcing the aircraft to touch ground prematurely on Thursday afternoon.
"I was on the way back to the airport, there was a horrible vibration and the engine seized," pilot David Windmiller told WABC, a local ABC News affiliate.
He had plans to land at Long Island's MacArthur airport before the engine gave out.
All three of the propellers snapped midair, Newsday reported, but years of practice had prepared Windmiller, 49 of Melville, N.Y., to handle an emergency situation in the air. Once he controlled his nerves, the veteran stunt pilot looked for a safe place to land the small plane. Once he secured a designation on Dee Park Avenue (Route 231), he knew that it was safe to land his aircraft.
"I had to find a good place to land not to hurt anyone or the aircraft or myself. And I found a spot on 231 in between some cars and trucks, and there's not a scratch on the airplane or myself. I'm really lucky thank God," he said.
Windmiller had been practicing for the air show at Jones Beach is less than a month.
“I was training for the air show that’s going to be in about two and a half weeks. The vibration developed within the engine, vibration slowly got worse. I called a mayday and then the engine completely quit,” Windmiller told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall.
“And it was the safest spot that I found at the time. It was the only spot I saw without any dense traffic, signs that I had to avoid. There were some light poles I had to avoid, there were two trucks I had to avoid and I picked that spot and it worked out fine,” Windmiller told Hall.
Witnesses told WCBS the piolet did an amazing job landing the aircraft.
“And I wiggled in between some cars and trucks and not a scratch on the airplane or myself,” said Windmiller, a married father of five. “No time to get nervous. After you wind up on the ground is maybe when you get nervous but you just have to make some really quick decisions.”
Windmiller still plans to fly in the Jones Beach air show, because after all, the show must go on.
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