World War II-Era Plane Makes Emergency Landing: In Surf Off Florida Beach

Any landing that you can walk away from….or swim away from, is a good landing!!!

source: USA Today

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.  

A video posted to Twitter showed the single-engine TBM Avenger making a “soft” landing in the shallow water south of Cocoa Beach.

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. 

In another video captured by Melanie Schrader of Melbourne, the plane’s single propeller can be seen no longer spinning as it glides toward the shallow water. Dozens of people in the water look up as it passes close overhead, and bystanders express shock as they watch the small aircraft make its descent. 

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.”

Melanie Schrader

“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.

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

Calamity Jane