Banner plane crashes off Miami Beach

2 men rescue pilot from crashed plane

Banner plane crashes off Miami Beach on Sept. 6, 2014.
Banner plane crashes off Miami Beach on Sept. 6, 2014. (WPLG-TV)

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A small banner plane crashed Saturday into the Atlantic Ocean off Miami Beach.

Several beachgoers told Local 10 News they saw the plane crash into the water around 2:30 p.m. Saturday near 5025 Collins Ave.

"It didn't make any noise, but I smelled gas or something. That's when we turned around and we saw the plane flipping around," said Victor Valderrama.

Two men from Boucher Brothers Management rescued the pilot from the crashed plane. It was not immediately known what led to the crash.

"We pulled him out, asked him if he was OK, asked him if anyone else was in the plane. Then we proceeded to bring him to shore," said Elias Hanono. "He said the engine just cut off, but he had plenty of gas."

A witness told Local 10 News he saw some people on Jet skis rescue the pilot.

"We saw the plane come down and crash in the water," said Dalan Tellis. "The guys from the jet skis came right away and picked the guy up."

Another witness also saw the rescue.

"They picked him up and we just know that he's alive and a little bit scratched, but he's alive," said Guylagrme Jamus.

"He had head injuries, bleeding from the head, but he was conscious," said Hanono.

The U.S. Coast Guard was called to assist in the rescue operation.

"The Coast Guard's priority was to get to the scene to assist as safely and quickly as possible," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Katie Campbell.

The pilot was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center. He was expected to be OK.

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