Southern California

Wife Records Video as Pilot Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Cuts Off

"I told him, 'I got two souls on board, we've lost the engine, we are going down in the desert.'"

A pilot and his wife were forced to make an emergency landing in San Bernardino County on Sunday after the engine on their small plane cut off, and the entire ordeal was caught on video.

The pilot Mark Dilullo said he never panicked when he realized that the engine had cut off, as he and his wife, Lisa Dilullo, were flying over the Mojave Desert heading to Chino Airport.

Lisa Dilullo, on the other hand, was really worried.

"I knew I needed her to focus on something, so I said it would be really good if you could video tape this," Mark Dilullo said.

The video his wife recorded shows the propeller on the plane not moving. A frightening sight for most people, but for Mark Dilullo, it was no problem.

"Fortunately for me, I'm a pilot examiner for the FAA. I test pilots and one of the maneuvers we had to do was a forced landing, so at least once a week, I get to see somebody else do a forced landing," said Mark Dilullo.

He had about three minutes before he would be forced to land on the bumpy desert terrain. So, he knew that he needed to quickly send out a distress call.

Thankfully, he received a quick response from an American Airlines pilot who was flying overhead.

"I told him, 'I got two souls on board, we've lost the engine, we are going down in the desert,'" Mark Dilullo said.

He quickly made sure to give the pilot his exact coordinates for rescuers to easily find them once they safely landed.

After letting the pilot know their coordinates, Mark and Lisa Dilullo braced themselves for impact as they got closer and closer to the desert floor. Miraculously, the two were not injured.

"There's always the idea that there is going to be a fire and there's going to be a rollover," said Dilullo.

The plane naturally came to a rough but safe stop. Members of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and SB Fire Department quickly responded.

After an hour and a half, the Dilullos were found. Once found, they decided to take a picture with their rescuers who the pilot said were "real pros."

The Dilullos are safe, but investigators are still working to figure out what caused the engine to fail.

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