A private plane that was spotted circling above the Gulf of Mexico with an apparently incapacitated pilot crashed into the water about 120 miles west of Tampa, Fla. just after noon on Thursday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard spotted the plane, a Cessna 421 twin-engine propeller aircraft, at about 9:30 a.m. ET. It was flying erratically, and the pilot was unresponsive to radio calls, according to Coast Guard District 8 Chief Petty Officer John Edwards in New Orleans.
The plane landed softly in the water and was intact, floating right side up, according to The Associated Press, quoting Petty Officer Elizabeth Boderland. Boderland did not know the condition of the pilot or whether any passengers were on board.
“The situation is pretty dynamic right now,” she said.
Air Force jets dispatched to look into the plane were unable to see the pilot because of fog and icing that obscured the plane’s windows, Coast Guard officials said.