Single-engine plane lands in Sarasota Bay after throttle control problem

Sarasota County

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – A pilot is uninjured after having to make a landing in Sarasota Bay.

According to Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, 25-year-old Bens Leche-Garcia was piloting a single-engine plane from Sebring to Sarasota when he reported a lack of throttle control as he approached Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

The sheriff’s office said in a release, Leche-Garcia made the decision to land the plane in the bay, since he felt he could not make it to Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

The pilot landed approximately 40 feet offshore, in 3-5 feet of water.

According to the sheriff’s office, there was no damage caused to any property and the pilot was not hurt.

NTSB gave permission for Leche-Garcia to have the plane removed and they will follow up with an investigation.

Tim Roslansky says he watched as this plane hit the water behind his home.

WFLA Photo

“Here he came sputtering in and made a great landing under the circumstances,” Roslansky said.

Roslansky says he and a neighbor jumped in a kayak to get him.

“I’m glad he’s okay, I was glad to see him step out on the wing of that airplane, he was shaken but I think he’s okay,” Roslansky said. “Any deeper he could’ve drowned, any shallower he might have hit a house or boat.”

A couple of hours later a boat began to tow the single-engine aircraft away. Tuesday’s emergency landing comes less than a week after another pilot said he was forced to land a small plane on Bruce B Downs Boulevard in Tampa after losing power.

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