Seaplane Pilots Rescue Ditched Pilot
Sometimes it's better to be lucky than it is to be good but the pilot of an aircraft that ditched off Key Largo, Fla., on Thursday seemed to have everything working in his favor. According to a news release, the unidentified pilot's distress calls were heard by Key West Seaplanes pilots Julie Ann Floyd and Nikali Pontecorvo as they ferried one of the company's floatplanes from Key West to Miami. They offered to help and diverted to the location of the other aircraft, whose pilot was reporting engine trouble. The seaplane pilots followed the other aircraft, which also hasn't been identified, in hopes it would make it to a runway. The engine quit, however, and that's when the unusual rescue sequence unfolded.
"We watched while the pilot made a textbook, perfect emergency water landing and we then landed our seaplane beyond his touchdown point on the water," said Floyd. I was really impressed with the pilot's skill to do everything just as all pilots are trained." The pilot got out of the floating aircraft and swam over to the floatplane as it taxied toward him. "He had no signs of any injury ... no cuts, no scratches, no bruises. He was in good spirits and complained of no pain. He really did everything right," Floyd said. They gave him a lift to Miami and parted ways.