BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A small plane made an emergency landing on Route 231 in Babylon on Thursday.
The plane made a hard landing around 12:50 p.m. not far from MacArthur Airport with one person on board, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“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,” pilot David Windmiller told WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall.
The propeller then started to come apart, Hall reported.
The pilot told CBS 2’s Carolyn Gusoff he was practicing to be in the Jones Beach Air Show when the engine suddenly seized.
“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.
Members of a road crew working on Route 231 told CBS 2’s Gusoff they saw the whole thing and that the pilot did an amazing job picking a place to land.
“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.”
No one on the ground was injured.
Many of Windmiller’s exploits are posted online and his own website has breathtaking pictures of him in the cockpit.
Windmiller said he promises he’ll be ready for Jones Beach.
“Been through a trauma, but it’s a show,” he said.
And, he said, the show must go on.
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