Small plane crash-lands in Brandon-area field

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A small plane crash-landed in a field east of Tampa Monday afternoon.

It happened off U.S. 301, just south of the Selmon Expressway. The view from SkyFOX showed a red-and-white Cessna 172 sitting in the field. A trail through the grass showed its path after touchdown.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said a witness called 911 just before 3 p.m. about a small plane flying low to the ground.

Investigators say David Presnell, a flight instructor with Atlas Aviation, took off from Peter O'Knight Airport on Davis Island for a test-flight following maintenance work on the plane's engine.

After about five minutes in the air, Presnell said the engine began to fail.

He said he used the flag on top of a cellphone tower as a windsock to help guide him to the field, causing minimal damage to the plane. Persness was not injured.

HCSO said Presnell has been a pilot for more than 20 years and a flight instructor for more than four.