A damaged plane went down over the skies of Blackfoot Friday, but it was quickly fixed and is already in flying shape again.
The pilot had to make his emergency landing on a small gravel bar in the middle of the Snake river, all because of a few birds.
Joel Milloway and Ellis Lipe were flying tandem, in different planes, Friday, doing some aerial sightseeing.
“We were just checking the river out. Flying down the river and we’ve been up the river and come down this way before. We’ve landed at the airport, and he happened to have some birds fly up,? Lipe said.
“A bird flew up out of nowhere, right out of the trees and hit the front of the cowling, hit the prop, and I felt a really bad vibration. So I immediately pulled the power off and right ahead of me was a gravel bar, and it just looked like i had enough room to make it,? Milloway said.
Milloway pulled off his emergency landing on this tiny island that’s far from an ideal landing strip.
Lipe said it’s lucky Milloway was flying a plane that’s built to be able to land just about anywhere.
“That’s what that plane is made for. You can land places like that or shorter. It’s just what it’s made for,? Lipe said.
Between the unlucky bird and the landing, the plane’s prop was damaged.
Milloway built the plane himself and knew just what to do. He rode off in a sheriff’s office boat to grab some spare parts and get the plane fixed.
“I went back and got a different prop and came back and put it back on, and it fired right up. Everything was fine,? Milloway said.
With the plane running Milloway used the same small island as a miniature runway, took off, and flew back to the airport.
“I’m just real happy everything turned out the way it did, because it could have been a lot worse. So I think everything turned out as good as it could have,? Milloway said.
Milloway has been flying for more than fifteen years and builds planes for a living.