Home US Robinson R-44 helicopter falls into water off Miami Beach after ‘mechanical failure’ caused plane to plummet, but pilot on board escapes with minor injuries

Robinson R-44 helicopter falls into water off Miami Beach after ‘mechanical failure’ caused plane to plummet, but pilot on board escapes with minor injuries

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A Robinson R-44 helicopter crashed into the water near Key Biscayne, Florida, on Saturday after the pilot reported engine problems; In the photo: the helicopter sunk under water.

A pilot launched his Robinson R-44 helicopter into the water near Key Biscayne on Saturday after reporting engine problems.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the crash, the four-seat helicopter crashed around 1:50 p.m. off Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.

The pilot, whose identity has not yet been revealed, managed to escape the terrifying incident with minor injuries.

Footage recorded after the crash showed frightened beachgoers gathered at the water’s edge, watching emergency officials rush to the scene to rescue the pilot.

In a video posted to the Only in Dade Instagram account, a rescue helicopter could be seen flying over the sinking Robinson R-44.

A Robinson R-44 helicopter crashed into the water near Key Biscayne, Florida, on Saturday after the pilot reported engine problems; In the photo: the helicopter sunk under water.

A Robinson R-44 helicopter crashed into the water near Key Biscayne, Florida, on Saturday after the pilot reported engine problems; In the photo: the helicopter sunk under water.

Emergency officials rushed to the pilot's aid as frightened onlookers watched the rescue unfold; In the photo: a rescue helicopter flying over the pilot in distress.

Emergency officials rushed to the pilot's aid as frightened onlookers watched the rescue unfold; In the photo: a rescue helicopter flying over the pilot in distress.

Emergency officials rushed to the pilot’s aid as frightened onlookers watched the rescue unfold; In the photo: a rescue helicopter flying over the pilot in distress.

“There was a helicopter accident,” said the man filming the video.

He panned the camera over the shimmering waters of Key Biscayne.

“The helicopter crash happened somewhere around here.”

In the video, other witnesses stood inches from the waves, their eyes straining to make out the crashed helicopter.

‘There is another. And another one,’ a young woman is heard saying in reference to the approaching rescue helicopters.

Sheridan Flynn, who was on the beach and witnessed the horrific accident, took to X.com, formerly Twitter, to describe what she had seen.

“I just witnessed a helicopter crash into the water near Key Biscayne, Miami,” Flynn wrote. “I hope the occupants got out okay.”

Flynn said the helicopter was flying unusually just before the crash.

“It appeared that the helicopter had been flying low and very close to the water just before the accident.”

The witness praised the efforts of the first responders: “The emergency services and civilian vessels responded very quickly.”

Bathers witnessed the dramatic helicopter crash; In the photo: a rescue helicopter flying over the sunken plane.

Bathers witnessed the dramatic helicopter crash; In the photo: a rescue helicopter flying over the sunken plane.

Bathers witnessed the dramatic helicopter crash; In the photo: a rescue helicopter flying over the sunken plane.

Flynn also shared video from the helicopter after the crash, in which the overturned Robinson R-44 light aircraft could be seen moving up and down rhythmically in the ocean swell.

The entire helicopter is underwater except for the landing skids, which protrude a few meters.

In the distance a fleet of ships could be seen racing to rescue the pilot.

A witness said NBC6 South Florida that the helicopter appeared to suffer mechanical failure.

“It looked like it had some kind of mechanical failure when I saw the back of the helicopter. [swing’ side to side’.

‘And then I just saw it take a nosedive into the water’.

Although seeing the helicopter crash was terrifying for many, witnesses were impressed with speed with which emergency officials came to the pilot’s aid.

‘It was great to see within 30 seconds or a minute there was already a first responder at the helicopter recovering the pilot from the water,’ said one witness.

Another bystander told News7that he was ‘lying on the beach’ when the helicopter plummeted into the water.

‘I was just lying on the beach, and I’m looking out into the ocean . All of a sudden, I see a helicopter kind of get a little low,’ Christopher Rodriguez said.

‘It keeps getting low, it keeps getting down, and all of a sudden, wham, hits the ground really loud’.

From the shore, people watched a police marine unit conduct a lightning-fast rescue; pictured: the sunk helicopter bobbing in the water and rescue boats rushing to the pilot's aid

From the shore, people watched a police marine unit conduct a lightning-fast rescue; pictured: the sunk helicopter bobbing in the water and rescue boats rushing to the pilot's aid

From the shore, people watched a police marine unit conduct a lightning-fast rescue; pictured: the sunk helicopter bobbing in the water and rescue boats rushing to the pilot’s aid

Like the other witness, Rodriguez admired how quickly emergency officials arrived at the scene.

‘I’ve got to say, I think it was Coast Guard or the first responders, whoever arrived at the scene were very fast, I’d say within a minute’.

‘The helicopter wasn’t even fully underwater yet, and the first responders were there,’ Rodriguez added.

A police marine unit is reported to have rescued the pilot.

‘I saw a raft appear, and I believe a man came up,’ Rodriguez said.

‘A couple of helicopters came around, and that’s pretty much all that happened’.

FAA investigators said that the pilot was the sole individual on board the helicopter.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue officials said that the pilot suffered minor injuries but was not taken to the hospital.

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