Jacksonville, Fla.-- A pilot and his small dog as safe after making an emergency landing on the sand in Atlantic Beach.
Nobody on the beach was hurt and his plane didn't suffered the least bit of damage. Witnesses say watching it was pretty scary. "I went to get the mail and I saw the plane doing tight circles. The engine sounded like a lawn mower. It did a putt putt sound," said witness Elizabeth Palmer. "I just started running to the beach. I thought it'd go straight down, then it moved. It looked like it was coming down fast," said witness Tom Mikell.
They watched the plane circle several times before finding a safe spot on the beach to land. The pilot and his poodle walked away with no injuries. Police say the plane left Craig Airfield and was headed to St. Augustine when it lost power in the air. "It's a single engine plane, so loss of power is a big deal," said pilot Randy Reep.
Reep is a local Airforce pilot and he's been flying for more than 2 decades. He says the outcome could've been much worse. "Looking at the pictures of an intact airplane landing on the beach, he did a fantastic job."
Reep thinks one of two things could've caused the power failure. "In all likelihood, it was a fuel or electrical problem. With the weather today, the temperatures where they were, any contaminant in the fuel could be a problem," said Reep.
While investigators are now looking to see exactly what went wrong, witnesses who watched the struggle in the air are just glad no one was hurt. "He did an awesome job landing the plane and to not hurt anyone. I walked up to him and said thank god you're ok," said Palmer.
The plane will be on the beach overnight. The FAA will be there Thursday morning to do its investigation and remove the plane. Police have not released the name of the pilot, but according to information we found on the FAA website, it's registered to a Vaughn Dobalian.