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Small Plane Goes Down Near Star Island

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- A pilot was forced to make an emergency landing after his small plane went down near Star Island Saturday afternoon.

"Pretty loud engine. All of a sudden I heard a loud engine go out, it goes dead silent.  And then I see it start to lose altitude gradually," said Miami Beach resident Andy George.

From his pool at a nearby waterfront condo, George watched as one of the many banner planes flying above Miami Beach sputtered downward.

"I thought he was gonna make a crash landing which was a pretty safe bet. I didn't know if it was gonna be a hard landing or what.  But, I knew the guy was gonna be in trouble," he said.

The pilot landed just feet from traffic on the MacArthur Causeway – on one side boats and homes all over the other.

He was the only person on the single engine plane, managing to get out with just a few scratches, his elbow in a bandage.

"We do credit the pilot for being able to bring this plane down in an area where it did not strike any boats, it did not hit the bridge.  and he was able to leave the plane safely," said Miami Fire Capt. Ignatius Carroll. "During the holiday weekend we have a lot of boats that are out here, a lot of people that are on the water. As you can see the highways are crowded so this could've ended pretty tragically had he not been able to maneuver this plane into the water."

As for the pilot, he didn't say much.

"I'm good. Safe. No one got hurt, that's the important part," he said.

The pilot can't say what happened or why the plane went down as they wait for investigators from the NTSB to arrive.

The plane was towed to Jungle Island.

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