TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. — A student pilot and an instructor pilot are safe after their plane's engine lost power Sunday and the aircraft had to be landed on Treasure Island.

What You Need To Know

  • A small plane was forced to land on a Treasure Island beach

  • The engine lost power and would not restart, the instructor pilot said

  • The student and instructor pilots aboard the plane were not injured

  • The right wing of the aircraft was damaged slightly during the landing

  • Scroll down to see the plane make a landing on Treasure Island Beach

The Piper Archer II took off from Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg and had been airborne about 15 to 20 minutes with the student in control when the engine quit, according to instructor pilot Jenna Dunay.

Dunay took the plane's controls but could not restart the engine, she told Spectrum News. Dunay said she decided the plane would not make it back to the airport so she decided they had to land on the beach.

During the landing, the right wing of the plane clipped a pole at the end of a giant water slide, damaging it slightly, Dunay said. She was able to maintain control of the plane and land safely, with no injuries, she said.

Witness Trevor Thompson explained to Spectrum News via Facebook Messenger that he was walking on the beach when he saw the plane coming in.

“I went for a walk down the beach and all of a sudden this plane is coming directly at me. I thought, ‘Man, that's pretty low to be seeing the beach.’ It kept getting lower, literally coming right at me,” he described, saying that the plane was at least 300 yards away from him.

Thompson, who is visiting Florida with his business partners, said he saw one of the pilots getting out of the plane.

“She smacked down and she jumped out with bags in her hand. I thought maybe that's what you guys do down here in Florida, but turns out it's not common,” said Thompson, who co-owns a custom sports apparel business called Brotherhood Sports Apparel in Michigan. 

Video courtesy of Trevor Thompson.


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