Small plane that went down in river towed to dry land Sunday

Plane went down shortly after takeoff Saturday from Craig Field

By Maggie Lorenz - Multi-media journalist, Roxy Tyler - Web producer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A small plane that went down in the St. Johns River Saturday during an emergency landing is now out of the water. The Piper Cherokee-235 splashed down in the water in the Mill Cove area near the Dames Point Bridge Saturday morning and was towed out to dry land Sunday.

The pilot was able to crawl out after it happened and was safely brought back to shore. No one was hurt.

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Getting the plane out of the river wasn't easy because the Mill Cove area is mainly swamp and muck.

Luckily, the plane landed more in the water instead of the grassy area, so it didn't get stuck in the mud.

Captain Rob James, of Seatow Jacksonville, said the plane was pulled out of the water much like a boat would be towed.

They tied some rope around the plane and secured it to the back of a Seatow boat. 

Leading up to the crash, the small Piper plane had just left Craig Airport when it experienced engine failure on takeoff.

The plane is owned by Airneck, Incorporated and is registered out of Jacksonville.

Our News4Jax aviation expert, Ed Booth, says it was reported that a mechanic was flying the airplane, which Booth says could mean the mechanic was working on the plane and took it for a test flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating, but it could take up to a year before the cause of the plane mishap is determined. 

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