By KPIC.com staff
Story Published: Sep 8, 2011 at 10:08 AM PDT
WINSTON, Ore. - A pilot made an emergency landing in a field after his plane's engine failed Thursday morning.
Pilot Michael Danielle said his engine failed, forcing him to land his 1996 Great Lakes biplane in a field by the property owned by Sparky L. Turner Trucking off Helweg Road.
Danielle is a veteran pilot who manages the Roseburg airport.
Danielle was alone and said he took off from Roseburg, said Officer Mike Miller of the Winston Police Department.
He was enroute to Myrtle Creek, when he says he looked back and saw a lot of smoke coming from the plane, and made the decision to turn back.
He said the motor was still running, but very rough, so he decided to put it down in the flattest field he could find.
Danielle said they would have to remove the wings to haul it off.
Danielle has been in the aviation business for decades, he joined the Air Force after high school and has been flying out of the Roseburg airport for more than 20 years.
Danielle said that his experience was a big help in his safe landing. He said his instincts took over, and he was able to land the plane safely. "When I first started flying, one of my instructors said you just keep flying an airplane until all the parts stop moving, and that applies. Airplanes, whether they're running or not they still fly, it's just you don't get a choice of where you land when your engine quits," he said.
When KPIC News asked him how the landing went, Danielle, with a smile on his face said, "I thought it was spectacular."