ST. PETERSBURG (CBSMiami/AP) — It was a close call for a pilot who crashed his small plane into the waters of Tampa Bay on Sunday but safely escaped.
The plane ditched into the water Sunday at around 2:00 p.m. about 300 to 400 feet southeast of the Coast Guard base at Bayboro Harbor.READ MORE: NBA fines Miami Heat $25,000 for violating 'bench decorum'
The pilot was flying a 1951 Cessna L19 “Bird Dog” owned by Advertising Air Force and managed to evacuate from the cockpit after it entered the water. The St. Petersburg Police Department says Robert Gilchrist sat on top of the plane until a rescue team arrived.
Authorities say he appears uninjured.READ MORE: Man faces several charges including pointing laser at BSO aviation unit
Gilchrist told officers he had just picked up an advertising banner at the airport and was starting to climb when he began to experience engine failure.
The plane remains submerged and preparations for recovery are ongoing.MORE NEWS: Miami ex-Proud Boys leader Henry 'Enrique' Tarrio to stay jailed until Capitol riot trial
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