By Joe McFarlane
A cool-headed amateur pilot successfully completed an emergency landing with his family onboard after a major technical issue.
Though Devin Miller, 33, works in consumer marketing in Texas, his hobby and passion is flying planes.
While flying wife Melanie and their two young children from Atlanta to Houston on September 1, Devin planned to land at their scheduled fuel stop in Mississippi.
However, when Devin began to slow the plane and line up the approach to land, to his shock and horror he realised the performance of the controls were not responding to his inputs.
Managing to isolate the communications inside the plane to correspond with the Memphis Centre traffic controllers, Devin was forced to declare an emergency at 4,000ft.
Co-ordinating with his plane mechanic on the ground and the air traffic controllers, Devin and Melanie began to troubleshoot some ideas in order to evaluate their limited options.
Deciding on a power off landing, the unplanned and risky manoeuvre involved the engine being completely shut down.
Devin said: “Power off landings are practiced as part of our training. I felt prepared for it but wanted to evaluate other options. I did not want to just jump to it, as typically power off landings are unplanned and you do not have the luxury of time and without having confidence in my engine I wanted to stay close to the airport.
“In this situation we got to choose when and how the engine would get shut down, so I took the advantage of that to really prepare and perform some troubleshooting to make sure we were really prepared.”
Staying calm, Devin managed to pull off the power off landing and got himself and his family safely back to earth.
Once back on the ground, the relief and sheer emotion can be seen on both Devin and Melanie’s faces.
Devin said: “Melanie was amazing, she is the real star here. She kept the kids unaware of the situation and supported me in the troubleshooting. She was promoted from passenger to crew really quick.
“My wife being my co-pilot and working the troubleshooting allowed me to fly the plane, keeping it on course. She did amazing, second only to ATC who worked so hard to arrange everything and assist in the troubleshooting.”
“I wanted to show this video for two reasons, first to thank and show off the ground staff’s teamwork, professionalism and support they do in the background.
“And secondly for other pilots to have an awareness of this situation to trigger a discussion with their flight instructors on what they would do.”