Beachgoers were left stunned after a Second World War plane landed in the sea behind a Florida woman’s maternity photoshoot.
Kristan Othersen, 22, had been taking photos with her boyfriend Kyle Johnson, 23, and mother Amber Ditmer, 40, on Cocoa Beach on 17 April last year.
Meanwhile, a TBM Avengers plane was flying past as part of an air show. However, as its engine failed, Amber took the camera and managed to photograph the incredible emergency landing.
Amber recalled: “My daughter Kristan wanted to take maternity photos at the beach. We were there for 10 minutes and my 14-year-old Miya was in the water and pointed at a plane coming in really low. I started taking photos as the plane kept getting lower and lower. There were people everywhere.”
She continued: “I just assumed there was going to be a trick and nobody moved. Next thing you know, he’s going in the water, and thankfully he did not hit anyone. He managed to get around everyone, as the beachgoers were not moving.”
Fortunately, the pilot was absolutely fine and nobody on the beach was injured.
“It took a few minutes before he actually appeared. He had to keep his headset dry. Bystanders swam out to him and helped him out and then rescue units arrived,” Amber said.
She added: “It was traumatising because I thought there would be someone under the plane. You can see the look of disbelief on my daughter’s face in one of the pictures.
“The pilot was okay but the plane stayed in the water until it was pulled out with a crane a few days later.”
In a separate video posted to Twitter, Kami Moffitt shared amazing footage of the war plane splashing down as others on the beach watched, clearly away from where they could be hurt.
@cnnbrk @CNN Cocoa Beach Air Show pic.twitter.com/gb5ea7r6gP— kami moffitt (@KamiMoffitt) April 17, 2021
While some people have replied criticising her and others for not immediately helping, she wrote: “We could immediately see the pilot was ok and no one was hit, some guys dove in south of us near the nose of the plane, the pilot didn’t want people in the water due to leaking fuel.
“Everyone there was thankful no one was hurt.”
Cocoa Beach Air Show also said in a statement: “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 okay.”
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