A plane crash off Lido Key Wednesday ended with the pilot walking away uninjured.
“It is a happy ending,” said acting Sarasota Police Capt. Paul Sutton.
At about 2 p.m., the pilot was returning to Venice Municipal Airport when he realized the yellow, single-engine plane was having mechanical problems.
“He realized he wouldn’t be able to go back to Venice airport,” Sutton said.
At about 1,000 feet up, the plane lost power, Sutton said.
The pilot tried to crash land on the beach but was unable to, and landed in the water close to shore. The pilot told police on the scene that he braced for the landing because he knew when the plane hit the water it would flip, Sutton said.
Beachgoers and lifeguards quickly assisted the pilot and a marine patrol boat was on the scene.
Although the cause of the crash appeared clear, the Federal Aviation Administration, which automatically investigates all plane crashes, began an investigation.