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Plane makes emergency landing in Hillsborough County field

Posted: 4:11 PM, Sep 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-23 18:24:51-04
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A plane made an emergency landing in a field in Hillsborough County, authorities say.

The aircraft reportedly had to make a hard landing in a field across from 2210 US Hwy. 301 S.

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RELATED: Small plane crashes in Mulberry; 1 person transported as trauma alert

The aircraft was a Cessna 172 that lost power and crashed around 2:40 p.m.

The pilot was David Presnell, a flight instructor with Atlas Aviation. According to the Sheriff's Office, he took off in a Cessna 172R from Peter O'Knight Airport following maintenance work on the engine of the plane.

After about five minutes in the air, he noticed the RPM dropping and began to experience engine failure.

Presnell has been a pilot for more than 20 years and used a cellphone tower with a flag billowing atop as a windsock to help guide him into a large, grassy field, HCSO said.

He completed the emrgency landing with minimal damage to the plane and no injuries to himself or others.

"This is a best case scenario for everyone involved," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "The field where the emergency landing happened is not too far from a very busy highway where hundreds of people were beginning their afternoon commute. I believe the decades of experience this flight instructor has and his quick thinking made all the difference."