Tags: plane | crash | pilot | rescued

Plane Crash Off Miami Beach: Pilot Flying Banner Survives Ocean Plunge

By    |   Monday, 08 Sep 2014 10:01 AM

A plane crashed into the ocean off Miami Beach over the weekend and, thanks to quick-thinking beachgoers at the scene, the lone pilot of the single-engine aircraft survived.

Pilot Brian Haggerty, the sole occupant of the Cessna, told CBS Miami that he was nearly done the two-hour job of flying a banner over the beach Saturday when he started experiencing engine problems.

"I had about two more loops to do and everything was going well, and then the engine started to falter and I pushed the throttle up and then it completely quit," Haggerty told the television station. "It's about 20 seconds between engine first faltering until I was in the water."

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The pilot said his training immediately kicked in as he prepared for a water landing.

"I was very methodical," he said. "In our training, first thing you do is get rid of the banner. Then you try to get the engine started. If you can't get it restarted you have to get ready for the impact."

Joe Talbott, who was watching the incident from a nearby balcony, told the Miami Herald he saw Haggerty ditch the banner but said it didn't seem to help the plane.

The plane crashed into the ocean about 200 yards from the shore around 2:30 p.m.

"It was like somebody threw a concrete block at you," Haggerty told CBS Miami. "It was 'smack' and it was done and then the water started gushing in and I took a deep breath and go 'Ok now I’ve got to get out of this thing.'"

George Daly, who was working nearby on the beach, saw the plane go down and immediately hopped on a jet ski and jetted toward the sinking aircraft.

"As soon as I get up there, he was in the water, he had a minor cut over [his right eyebrow]," Daly told WSVN.com. "I asked him if there was anybody else on the plane with him. He said, 'no.' So I got him on board and brought him to the shore and Ocean Rescue took over right away."

The airplane, which was registered to Aerial Banners Inc., sank completely after Haggerty was rescued.

"The Coast Guard's priority was to get to the scene to assist as safely and quickly as possible," U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Katie Campbell told the Miami Herald.

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A plane crashed into the ocean off Miami Beach over the weekend and, thanks to quick-thinking beachgoers at the scene, the lone pilot of the single-engine aircraft survived.
plane, crash, pilot, rescued
418
2014-01-08
Monday, 08 Sep 2014 10:01 AM
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