Airplane pilot rescued by police identified

10:35 PM, Dec 20, 2013   |    comments
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Tampa, FL -- The pilot of a single-engine Cessna that crashed at Tampa International Airport late Thursday night has been identified as 58-year-old Mark Edward Love of Tampa.

Love was pulled from his burning plane by Tampa Police Officer Brian Gentry seconds after he crashed.

The dramatic rescue was caught on camera.

Gentry and Officer Dave Dennison were flying in the area in a TPD helicopter when they heard Love talking with the control tower. Dennison says he could hear in Love's voice something was wrong.

So Gentry and Dennison raced to TIA and captured both the plane's crash and dramatic rescue on the TPD helicopter camera.

Friday afternoon Mayor Bob Buckhorn praised the officers for their work and called the two heroes. But Gentry and Dennison both downplayed the kind words.

"We're just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right or wrong time," Gentry told reporters.

"I think the real hero in this case is the injured pilot," Gentry explain for Love not crashing into a populated area.

Officials say Love is listed in critical condition at a local hospital.

The plane Love was flying is owned by Flight Express. Officials say Love was flying back to Tampa from Georgia when he crashed Thursday. He was the only person on board at the time.

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