MIAMI COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – A pilot and Dayton Air Show performer described his emergency landing in Tipp City as “uneventful” after his engine started dying mid-flight.
Skip Stewart, an aerobatic and commercial pilot, made a call to Dayton International Airport’s tower when he realized his engine wasn’t going to last the duration of his flight.
He hoped to make his landing at the airport, but once he started smelling oil, he knew he needed to find a place to land immediately.
He noticed the ground below him was free of traffic for miles in both directions and made the decision to land in the area of SR-202 and Tipp Elizabeth Road around 7 pm.
“It would’ve been much scarier if there wasn’t a nice place to land. If I’d waited until the engine was completely gone, then your choices are limited. It became evident that I was losing engine power very quickly and could smell the smoke from the oil coming off of the engine and knew that I needed to get onto the ground in a hurry,” he said.
Stewart was not injured in the incident and says his biggest disappointment is that he won’t be able to fly his plane in the Dayton Air Show this weekend.
“It’s pilot stuff,” he said. “I guess it could be scary, but for me, it actually turned out to be a pretty good landing. I’m just disappointed I’m not going to be able to perform for the guys in Dayton this weekend. I’m extremely disappointed about that, I was looking forward to it.”
He typically performs what he calls a “seemingly out-of-control” aerobatic show and has been performing for roughly 20 years.
When it came to Thursday’s seemingly out-of-control landing, however, Skip says everything played out as well as it could’ve given the circumstances.
“I was fortunate that I had a good place to land because sometimes it happens, and you don’t. I was lucky in that respect, but the rest of it worked out as well as it could’ve, I think,” he said.
Stewart said his training over the years has prepared him for situations such as these.