Pilot unharmed after small plane's engine failed, sending it crashing into the river near Island Home airport

@ # State

Knoxville emergency crews say a pilot is unharmed after their plane crashed into the Tennessee River near the Island Home airport.

According to Knox County dispatch, crews received a call about a plane that went into the Tennessee River near the South Knoxville airport around 8:45 p.m.

D.J. Corcoran with the Knoxville Fire Department said witnesses reported seeing a plane go into the river just west of the water treatment plant along the north bank and never surfaced.

The Knoxville Police Department later confirmed the crash, saying the sole 62-year-old pilot of that aircraft was found unharmed on the shore after they swam to safety and were pulled from the water by rescue crews.

According to KFD, the pilot was flying in from Skyranch Airport off Alcoa Highway in Knoxville -- a small airport for sports and hobbyist flyers.

KFD said the pilot crashed while trying to land the plane, saying the plane's engines had failed at around 2,000 feet and they crashed just shy of the airport.

The pilot reportedly had 5 gallons of fuel on board the Flightstar ultralight plane, according to KFD. The plane is still submerged under 15 feet of water and crews are trying to retrieve it.

The National Transportation Safety Board has been notified to conduct a full crash investigation.