Tony Weedn, 28, an Air Force pilot, said he was flying the plane Saturday from Fort Walton Beach to Orlando as part of a birthday surprise for passenger Justin Landingham with married couple Yeshua and Trisha Goodman when the plane's engine went out over Lake Powell, the Panama City News Herald reported Tuesday.
"He looked at the beach, and there were a lot of people on the beach. He looked at the highway, and there were a lot of cars on the highway," Landingham said.
Weedn, who has been flying since he was 12, said the 17t green at the Shark's Tooth Golf Course seemed like the best spot for the emergency landing, and the rental plane touched down with no injuries.
"God put us in the exact spot we needed to be," Weedn said. "We didn't really jolt around a lot. I thought it was going to be much worse than it was."
The Bay County Sheriff's Office said the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.
Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).