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FAA takes lead on investigation after plane makes emergency landing in median of Tampa roadway

Only the pilot was onboard and is said to be OK.

TAMPA, Fla. — Horns were blaring as drivers scrambled to make way for the plane coming down from the sky.

"Everybody was getting out of the way...everybody was honking, everybody was moving to the right to the left, I thought I was gonna see my life flash before my eyes," said Ruben Fernandez, who witnessed the small aircraft make an emergency landing Thursday morning on a busy roadway in Tampa.

The single-engine Cessna 188 had taken off just a little while before from Tampa Executive Airport.

The pilot declared an emergency landing over the radio, then touched down around 10:35 a.m. on the grassy median of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard near Interstate 75.

Only the pilot was aboard the plane. Luckily, neither that pilot, nor anybody else, was hurt.

"I literally thought I was going to die, because I thought that the plane was going to hit us and I just froze," Fernandez explained.

The small plane is contracted to due mosquito control work with Hillsborough County. But, it wasn't doing that at the time, the county confirmed.

Tampa Fire Rescue says there were no spills or reports of any hazardous material on the roadway.

The FAA is spearheading the investigation into what went wrong. Investigators are looking into possible engine failure, according to law enforcement.

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