WWII-Era Plane Makes Emergency Ocean Landing at Air Show

Valiant Air Command's TBM Avenger made an emergency landing in the ocean
The Valiant Air Command's TBM Avenger made an emergency landing in the ocean just offshore south of the former Officer's Club at Patrick Space Force Base during the Cocoa Beach Air Show Saturday, April 17, 2021 in Cocoa Beach, Fla. (Malcolm Denemark/Florida Today via AP)

COCOA BEACH, Fla. — The pilot of a restored World War II-era plane made an emergency ocean landing Saturday during the Cocoa Beach Air Show.

Witnesses told Florida Today they heard the BM Avenger engine sputtering down the beach and knew something was off as the plane slowly descended.

“It looked like (the pilot) pulled up at the last moment and avoided any spectators, there were loads of people on the water, and then I saw him on top of the plane, it looked like he was okay,” said Melanie Schrader

The pilot was not injured and refused medical treatment.

The air show released a statement saying the plane had a mechanical issue and that rescue personnel were standing by during the emergency landing.

The plane was a torpedo bomber used by the U.S. Navy during World War II. According to the Cocoa Beach Air Show website, the plane underwent extensive restoration before returning to flight last year.

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