Pilot crashes small plane into water near Virginia Key, police say

The pilot of a small Cessna plane crashed the plane into the water Thursday night about 20 feet offshore in the Virginia Key area, authorities said.

MIAMI – The pilot of a small Cessna plane crashed the plane into the water Thursday night about 20 feet offshore in the Virginia Key area, authorities said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Rick Breitenfeldt confirmed the single-engine Cessna 172 Skyhawk crashed in the ocean around 6:55 p.m., about eight miles southeast of Miami.

“At first I didn’t believe it, because that never happens,” City of Miami lifeguard Amanda Dominguez said.

According to Lt. Pete Sanchez, a spokesman for Miami Fire Rescue, the pilot was flying with a passenger when he reported engine trouble after flying for about 40 minutes.

Both the pilot and the passenger were able to get out of the plane and Miami Ocean Rescue helped them get to shore where paramedics were waiting, Sanchez said.

“Luckily, neither of them were injured,” Sanchez said.

Sea Tow is working Friday to get the plane out of the water.

“So we can bag it -- you know, as a boat, bag it, float it and we either bring it here or to a boat ramp and put in the trailer or platform,” Eduardo Barreto said.

Breitenfeldt said the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.

Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Wilson Louis contributed to this report.


About the Authors:

Joseph Ojo joined Local 10 in April 2021. Born and raised in New York City, he previously worked in Buffalo, North Dakota, Fort Myers and Baltimore.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.