A small Katana airplane was forced to land in a field near Longmont's Vance Brand Airport this morning because of engine trouble shortly after takeoff, according to airport Manager Tim Barth.

Barth said the Longmont pilot's training kicked in when he realized he didn't have enough altitude to get back to the airport, prompting him to land in the field at about 10 a.m. The plane's tail snapped off and the plane lost a couple of other parts, but the pilot wasn't injured and was able to walk away, he said.

"You can't ask for a better outcome in an incident like this," Barth said.

Barth declined to release the pilot's name.

He said the Federal Aviation Administration plans to investigate today, while the Boulder County Sheriff's Office and the Hygiene Fire Department both responded this morning.