SUN CITY — An 83-year-old pilot from Bradenton was airlifted to a hospital Sunday after his ultralight plane made an emergency landing in a cow pasture in southern Hillsborough County.
About 9:30 a.m., Eugene Massa took off from Airport Manatee in Palmetto. He was flying a small experimental ultralight fixed-wing plane, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
When he reached about 300 feet, he started having engine problems. He came down in a pasture at 6528 U.S. 41, near the Manatee County line, about 500 feet off the highway.
When rescue crews arrived, they found Massa "alert and talking," the Sheriff's Office said. He was the only person aboard and authorities airlifted him to Blake Medical Center in Bradenton.
The remainder of the investigation will be conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration.