World War II-era plane makes emergency landing in surf off of Florida beach

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A World War II-era plane taking part in the Cocoa Beach Air Show made an emergency landing in the ocean near Patrick Space Force Base beaches Saturday afternoon.

No one was injured, emergency officials said.

In the footage, the plane descends low in a controlled fashion before coming to a skidding halt in the ocean, sending up spray and foam.

The plane landed safely on the surface of the ocean.

“He was sputtering down the beach and I was like, 'Oh he doesn’t sound good,' and I just started filming," Schrader said.

“It looked like (the pilot) pulled up at the last moment and avoided any spectators, there were loads of people on the water, and then I saw him on top of the plane. It looked like he was OK," she said.

The pilot declined medical treatment after the incident, according to Brevard County Fire Rescue officials.

"The TBM Avenger performing in the warbird parade had a mechanical issue and the pilot was able to bring the plane down close to the shore. Rescue personnel were immediately on scene and the pilot is OK," according to Cocoa Beach Air Show officials in a prepared statement.

Officials did not identify the pilot.

The TBM Avenger is a torpedo bomber that was used by the U.S. Navy during World War II.

According to the Cocoa Beach Air Show website, the plane in Saturday's incident underwent extensive restoration before being returned to flight last year.

After retiring from Navy use, the plane was used as a U.S. Forestry Service fire bomber from 1956 to 1964 in Davis, California. The warbird also saw use as a Georgia Forestry Commission fire bomber, according to the Valiant Air Command website.

The 1945 TBM Avenger was restored over an 18-year span by the Titusville-based Valiant Air Command, which returned the vintage torpedo bomber to flight in January 2020.

“I saw a video of it — and it just made me think of what Sully did in the Hudson River,” said Air Show Chairman Bryan Lilley, referring to the 2009 emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in New York by pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger. Both engines were disabled by a bird strike and all 155 people aboard survived.

“It was incredible. What skill by that pilot,” Lilley said of the ocean landing near Cocoa Beach.

“I feel really bad for them. They just got done restoring that (plane). They put so much time into it,” Lilley said of the Valiant Air Command.“I'm very happy the pilot’s OK, but I'm really sorry that the aircraft ended up in the water."

Subscribe by Email

Follow Updates Articles from This Site via Email

No Comments

Popular Posts


Adblock Detect

We have detected that you are using adblock in your browser


Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors.

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker.