ATLANTIC BEACH, FLa. -

A pilot and his dog walked away without a scratch after landing a small plane with engine problems on Atlantic Beach on Wednesday afternoon.

The plane made an emergency landing about 2:30 p.m. on the sand near the Dewees Street beach access, between 16th and 17th streets.

A witness told Channel 4 that the pilot said he took off from Craig Airport and thinks there was a fuel contamination problem that caused the engine to sputter, so he put it down on the sand. 

"He wasn't able to correct the problem, banked left and came around lined up on the beach," witness Chris Rule said.

The pilot, whose name was not immediately available, was alone in the plane except for his small dog. He didn't want to talk to Channel 4, but he did briefly talk to one of the first people to approach the plane after it landed.

"He was probably upset. He was fine. The dog was fine," said Maureen Shaughnessy.

SLIDESHOW: Images of plane down on Atlantic Beach

The single-engine Mooney M20F aircraft was first certified air worthy in 1970 is registered to a Jacksonville resident.

While the plane appeared to be intact, it was pushed higher onto the beach into some soft sand to keep it away from the incoming tide.

Atlantic Beach authorities said the plane might have to stay where it is until Thursday.