Good Samaritan saves couple from sinking plane
WEST MIAMI-DADE, Fla. (WSVN) -- A pilot's attempt to land turned into a plunge right into a South Florida canal.
A pilot was left badly cut at the bank of an alligator infested canal, Saturday. "He kind of bounced off the road," said Cliff Peloquinn, "and all of a sudden, the tour guides all yelled, 'He hit the water!'"
The two-person, ultralight plane plunged into the water. "The ultralight was coming in to land," said Jesse Kennon, "and I guess a gust of wind came and caught him and he lost a little bit of power."
"He splashed with his right wing on the canal," said Vanneste Chris, "because his left wing was in the air and he sunk right away."
In a split second, witnesses said an airboat tour guide dove right in knowing alligators could be at them in an instant. "They were still stuck," said Reynaldo Ordaz. "They were still strapped to that flying thing so I jumped in the water as soon as I could. They were literally, neck up."
Ordaz freed the man from his seat belt as the plane sunk under. "She was able to get herself out," said Ordaz. "He was kind of like, he had a really big old gash."
Bystanders dialed 911 as Ordaz pulled the pilot from the canal. "You gotta do what you can," said Ordaz. "You see somebody in need, you go for it."
Air-rescuers carried the pilot away from his close call before crews came in and pried his badly damaged ultralight plane from the bottom of the alligator-infested Everglades waters.
The ultra-light plane is registered to a man who lives in Miramar. Police believe it was the man and his wife who were in the plane at the time. They were taken to the hospital just to be checked out but witnesses said they looked like they were going to be OK.
The FAA also sent someone to the scene to investigate. They believe the cause of the crash was because the plane lost power.
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