Pilot injured after small plane crashes off Lower Keys in Monroe County, authorities say

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – A small plane crashed off Bahia Honda State Park Saturday afternoon on the Gulf side off Horseshoe Key in Monroe County, authorities said.

According to Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Adam Linhardt. the crash happened around 1:30 p.m.

Linhardt told Local 10 News that the 75-year-old pilot was injured in the crash and was the only one onboard.

“The lone male pilot was brought ashore by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, where he was flown to a Miami hospital via Trauma Star with non-life-threatening injuries,” he said.

A woman who identified herself as the pilot’s daughter told Local 10 News’ Cody Weddle he suffered several broken bones and is looking at a long recovery in the ICU.

Monroe County Airport Director Richard Strickland told Local 10 News that he believes the plane departed the Marathon Airport and was headed to Summerland Key.

Captain David Dipre with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told Local 10 News that wildlife officers were also on scene to assist.

Authorities said the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating the crash.

The pilot was taken to Jackson Memorial South’s Ryder Trauma Center.

The Trauma Star helicopter was seen landing on US-1. The bridge was closed as the pilot evacuated the chopper.

No other information has been released.

About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.

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.