Small plane crash lands on Siesta Key

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- Emergency crews responded to a small plane that was upside down on the beach Tuesday after making an emergency landing north of Turtle Beach on Siesta Key.

The plane is near the 7900 block of Sanderling Road, about one mile north of Turtle Beach.

The small bi-plane is said to have reported mayday due to engine problems and was attempting to land on the beach around noon.

Witnesses on the island report seeing the plane flying low and sputtering.  "He was coming out of the Sarasota-Bradenton airport and was just on a training flight," says Lt. Daniel Tutko of the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane is a 1987 Pitts S-2B, and according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, was being flown by 75-year-old Earle Swan of Bradenton.  51-year-old Martin Thomas of Cape Coral was also in the plane.

They report only minor injuries. 

"The pilot was able to put the plane down on the beach in a really less populated area in order not to endanger any citizens," says Lt. Tutko.


The FAA has been notified and is sending a representative to the scene.

This is the 2nd crash landing of a plane on Suncoast beaches in recent weeks.  On July 27th, a small plane crashed onto Caspersen Beach near Venice, killing two beachgoers.

My name is Scott.