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Pinellas County, Florida -- An advertising banner plane crashed in the water near Albert Whitted Airport on Sunday afternoon.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, the 1951 Cessna L19 "Bird Dog," which is owned by Advertising Air Force, ditched in the waters of Tampa Bay about 300-400 yards southeast of the Coast Guard base at Bayboro Harbor.

The pilot, 36-year-old Robert Gilchrist, managed to escape from the cockpit and sat on top of the plane until a rescue team arrived to pick him up. He was not injured.

Gilchrist reportedly told officers he had just picked up an advertising banner at the airport and was starting to climb when he experienced engine failure and was forced to ditch the plane.

The plane is still submerged and recovery efforts are ongoing. The FAA is investigating the incident.

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