Pilot Rescued by Key West Seaplanes Owners After Ditching

** Key West Seaplanes**

On August 8 at around 5:30 p.m. local time Key West Seaplanes pilots (and co-owners) Julie Ann Floyd and Nikali Pontecorvo were ferrying one of their pontoon-equipped Cessnas from Key West to Miami when they heard a distress call. An unidentified pilot was having engine trouble in the vicinity of Key Largo and wasn’t sure if he could make it to a runway.

Pontecorvo and Floyd told ATC they would try to assist the pilot and arrived on the scene in time to watch the pilot make what they described as a textbook water landing. They landed close by and began taxiing toward the sinking single-engine airplane as the pilot swam toward them.

“The pilot was out of the plane within just seconds of making the emergency water landing and was able to swim over to our seaplane,” Pontecorvo said. “He had no signs of any injury and was in good spirits. He did everything right. We were so happy to be in the right place at the right time to be able to offer our assistance.”

Floyd and Pontecorvo continued their flight to Miami where they dropped him off. They say they have been commended by the FAA, Miami-area air traffic controllers and other agencies for their rescue.

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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