Officials at Tampa International Airport said the pilot of the 1979 Cessna 210N had radioed the plane was experiencing low oil pressure before the aircraft crashed and burned in an airport retention pond, TBO.com reported Friday.
Tampa police officers Brian Gentry and Dave Dennison heard the distress call during a routine air patrol and followed the plane for three minutes until it crashed just before midnight, police said.
The officers landed their helicopter at the crash site, where Gentry extinguished the fire before pulling the pilot from the wreckage.
The pilot, whose identity was not released, was hospitalized with serious but non-life threatening injuries, police said.
The plane was registered to Flight Express, a subsidiary of an Ohio-based package delivery service.
The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to investigate the accident.
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