Ultralight Plane Crashes Near Skyway Bridge

Two people were on board the plane but were not seriously injured.

An Ultralight plane crash-landed near the Skyway Bridge just after noon on Thursday.

Rodney Tyoe, 74, was trying to make a water landing, when a wind gust flipped the plane, which plunged into the Indian Key waterway, west of the Skyway Bridge and near Eckerd College. Gina Zimmerman, 55, was a passenger in the plane.

A good samaritan in a nearby boat witnessed the crash and brought the 74-year-old pilot and his passenger on board his boat, according to Lt. Joel Granata with St. Pete Fire & Rescue.

The Eckerd College search and rescue team met up with the good samaritan in the water and brought the people back to shore.

Tyoe was treated at the scene with minor injuries. Zimmerman was brought to shore and taken to Bayfront Hospital in stable condition.

Juanita Baker, Tyoe's daughter, arrived at the scene to take her father home. Asked if he would be piloting a plane again, she replied: "He's 74. He's not going to give it up now."

State officials were looking into the crash and preparing to retrieve the plane from the water.

Stay with Patch for updates. 


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