JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A pilot who apparently made an emergency landing Saturday in the Mill Cove area of the St. Johns River was rescued by a good Samaritan and was uninjured. Jacksonville Fire-Rescue crews said there was no fuel spill and the plane remained in the water while efforts to salvage it begin.
Sources told News4Jax that the pilot of the small plane was an aircraft mechanic who experienced engine issues on take-off.
News4Jax aviation expert Ed Booth says it was reported that a mechanic was flying this airplane, which Booth says could mean the mechanic was working on the plane and this was a test flight.
Based off the footage he's seen, Booth says it was a well-executed landing.
"The pilot did an extremely skillful job of getting the airplane down in one piece, not injuring himself, and what particularly impresses me is the fact the airplane did not flip over on its back," Both said. "A fixed-gear airplane has a tendency to, when landed on water, to flip upside down immediately. (That) didn't happen here, and it tells me the pilot did a masterful job in (a) forced landing."
The plane is owned by Airneck Inc. and registered to a Jacksonville address.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating. It could take up to a year to return the official cause.