Emergency landing on Florida beach kills beachgoer

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By Janet DiGiacomo


(CNN) — A father was killed and his daughter critically injured Sunday when an airplane struck them as they walked along a Florida beach.

Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Wendy Rose said Venice Municipal Airport officials reported a plane in distress Sunday afternoon.

The pilot of a 1972 Piper Cherokee radioed that he would be unable to make it back to the airport and that he was instead going to attempt a landing on Caspersen Beach, located just to the south.

The plane landed and struck the father and daughter around 2:45 p.m., according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The man — whose name was not immediately known — died on the scene. His daughter was airlifted to All Children’s Hospital and is believed to be in critical condition, according to the sheriff’s office.

“The dad looked very bad,” witness Zack Arceneaux told CNN affiliate Bay News 9. “They were performing CPR on him. He had blood on his face. It looked like he wasn’t breathing at all.”

The pilot and his passenger were uninjured.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating.

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  • Russ Morgan

    Since when are 2 people in the air more important than two people on the ground? This pilot should be charged with manslaughter. Ditch the plane next time, genius.

    • Bob

      Arm chair quarterbacks can always second guess the actions of a pilot who’s in an unfamiliar situation and knows ditching will result in serious injury or death.

    • dave

      ya not cool man, its way to easy for people reading this story to think this pilot before hitting this guy thought to him self “well your sure screwed” when in realty this guy is probably mortified but as sad and honorably as the situation ended given what he had to work with he very well may have made the best call possible.

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