Authorities say a problem with the single plane's engine caused a pilot to crash land into Lake Wausau Saturday afternoon. The exact cause of the crash is under investigation.
No one was injured and the pilot was picked up by a passing boater shortly after the plane hit the water.
"We know that the pilot was doing take-offs and landings at the Wausau Airport and on the last approach that he made he had some engine difficulties," Wausau Municipal Airport Manager John Chmiel said. He told Newsline 9 that given the circumstances, pilot Glenn Burt did everything right.
Burt didn't want to talk on camera, but Chmiel said he's an experienced pilot and his home built World War l replica plane passed all the necessary safety checks.
"He knows what he's doing and obviously he came out unscathed," Chmiel said.
According to authorities, the call came in just before noon that a plane was in the water near Eagle's Landing. The Wausau Fire Department, Marathon County Sheriff's Department and Wausau Police all responded to the scene.
Once they knew the pilot was safe, firefighters said they began checking for fuel leaks. "They verified that we did not have any fuel spills from the plane," Battalion Chief Paul Czarapata said.
Crews said a water rescue is hard to train for.
"Airplanes don't fall out of the sky every day. When they do, it presents challenges, especially when it's out in the water that we can't get to them," Czarapata said.
Officials said Burt had skill and a little luck on his side.
"The gentleman didn't manage to get wet until he wasn't able to get the boat close enough to get into it," Czarapata said.
The Federal Aviation Association and National Transportation Safety Board are now investigating the crash.
A plane crashed into Lake Wausau early this afternoon.
Authorities tell Newsline 9 the experimental plane landed short of the Wausau Airport.
No one was injured in the crash. Officials says a boater picked up the pilot.
We have a crew on scene and will update this story with more information.