A father has been killed by a plane that crashed into him and his daughter as they walked along a beach in Florida.

Karl Ommy Irizarry, 36, was with his nine-year-old daughter Oceana Irizarry, when a small Piper plane crash landed on them as they walked just a few feet from the shore line.

Wendy Rose, a spokeswoman for the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, said the pilot and passenger, Karl Kokomoor and David Theen, were uninjured.

The plane lost power and crash landed on a beach in Venice: "A man and one of his children who were walking on the beach were apparently injured by the plane," Rose said.

Irizarry was later pronounced dead while Oceana is believed to be in a critical condition at the All Children's Hospital.

A witness told BayNews9: "The dad looked very bad. They were performing CPR on him he had blood on his face. It looked like he wasn't breathing at all."

Kokomoor contacted Venice airport at about 2.45 local time to say they were in trouble: "They were contacted by a pilot whose small plane was in distress. He knew he couldn't make it back to the airport and was going to try to land on the beach. And he did land at the edge of the water on the beach."

Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told AP that an investigation will be launched into the incident.

Rose added that they "don't know exactly what caused the crash", but said experts from the National Transportation and Safety Board are going to the site to investigate.

Zack Arceneaux, 17, witnessed the crash. He told WTSP 10 News: "I saw that a plane had gone down over there. First thing I saw was the wheel knocked off and the propeller bent.

"I didn't hear anything. Actually I thought the motor must've went out. I didn't hear anything. Figured, maybe it ran out of fuel and just hit them and they weren't ready. I was not expecting to come to the beach and see a plane on the ground."