New video shows rescue after Everglades plane crash

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Miami-Dade firefighters released new video of a risky rescue out of the Everglades, when a small plane had to make an emergency landing and flipped over in the swamp.

The crash happened Tuesday in far southwestern Miami-Dade County, about nine miles from the closest road.

That meant Miami-Dade Fire Rescue had to send its helicopter to rescue the two victims, who, fortunately, weren’t seriously hurt.

Rescuers lowered a seat from the helicopter in order to retrieve the pilot and passenger.

“We arrived on scene, assessed the scenario (and) saw the survivors out on the wing,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Jason Vanbuskirk.

It’s a maneuver firefighters say they only do a few times per year and something that must be done with precision.

“That process is all about precision. And a lot of that comes between the dialogue between the hoist operator and the pilot,” Vanbuskirk said. “So they’re in constant communication to move the aircraft over that position. The pilot is blind, is going off the hoist operator’s cadence and voice to (position them) over the aircraft.”

MDFR shared with Local 10 News on how they pulled off the risky rescue.

“It is a very inaccessible area, most of that area is 1-2 feet of water, swamp, vehicles can’t get back there,” said Robert Wallis of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

Robert Wallis/Miami-Dade Fire Rescue: I can safely say that once they’re pulled out of the swamp, they’re happy.

Firefighters said the pilot and passenger, who were taken back to Tamiami Airport, were quite happy to be out of the Everglades.

“Feels great,” said Vanbuskirk. “It’s good to know that people are home and safe.”

About the Author:

Cody Weddle joined Local 10 News as a full-time reporter in South Florida in August of 2022. Before that, Cody worked regularly with Local 10 since January of 2017 as a foreign correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia.