CHINO (CBSLA) — Authorities released video footage Monday of the amazing emergency landing of a small plane in the middle of the Mojave Desert.
San Bernardino County Fire tweeted out video footage captured on June 30 of a small plane crash landing near Ludlow north of Interstate 40 in the Mojave National Preserve.
The pilot, Mark Dilullo, owns an aviation maintenance business. He was in the Beechcraft Sundowner with his wife testing out recent maintenance when the engine stalled.
The couple was on their return flight from Needles to Chino when the engine lost fuel and the pilot knew an emergency landing without the propeller would be necessary within minutes.
According to the pilot, his wife was sleeping at the time, and when he woke her to tell her about the emergency landing she was visibly nervous, so he told her to record in efforts to keep her occupied.
“I said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna land in the desert,’ and she said ‘I don’t want to’,” Dilullo said. “Then I said that the engine was gonna quit and we’re not going to have a choice.”
The day of the landing, it was 105 degrees out and they had no way of walking out on their own as there were no roads nearby.
“I’m pretty sure what I said was, ‘I’m not up to walking home, and I don’t want to spend the night here,'” Dilullo said.
They were thankful to the San Bernardino County Fire crew that flew out to get them out of the desert.