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Pilot uninjured in Land O'Lakes ultralight plane crash

An ultralight aircraft crashed into Lake Thomas in Land O'Lakes on Saturday. The pilot was not injured. [Photo courtesy of Pasco County Fire Rescue]
An ultralight aircraft crashed into Lake Thomas in Land O'Lakes on Saturday. The pilot was not injured. [Photo courtesy of Pasco County Fire Rescue]
Published May 21, 2017

LAND O'LAKES — No one was injured after an ultralight aircraft crashed into a lake Saturday afternoon, Pasco County Fire Rescue said.

The plane was almost fully submerged in Lake Thomas, just west of U.S. 41, when firefighters arrived around 2:30 p.m. Private boaters rescued the pilot, who was not identified, from the plane's wreckage.

The pilot told Pasco County sheriff's deputies he was testing the engine with the aircraft floating on the water, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Amy Marinec. A gust of wind took the plane airborne before it took a nosedive back into the water.

Neither the Federal Aviation Administration nor the National Transportation Safety Board elected to investigate the incident, Marinec said.

"They said it's very common with these ultralight crafts where the pilot is testing the engine," she said.

There is no criminal investigation into the incident. Because the plane is not evidence, removing the plane from the lake will be the pilot's responsibility, Marinec said.

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