VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – The pilot rescued by Volusia County Beach Safety Tuesday afternoon was attempting to fly into the private Spruce Creek Airport when he crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off South Daytona Beach, marking the fourth incident this year involving small planes taking off from or landing at the private airport.
Sky 6 video showed lifeguards pulling a man from the wreckage and onto the shore. Volusia County Beach Safety officials said the pilot, Richard Goosman, was alert and clinging to the wing when lifeguards approached him.
"It was all hands on deck," Volusia County Beach Safety Capt. Tammy Malphurs said.
The lifeguards involved in Tuesday's rescue are doing well, after a rescue unlike just about any other.
"You have to adjust," Malphurs said. "You don't know what the conditions are out there; you don't know if there's fuel in the water."
Officials said Goosman told them that he was traveling from North Carolina and his plane ran out of fuel before the crash.
The pilot was flying to Spruce Creek Airport in Port Orange when the crash landing happened, according to Volusia Beach Safety officials.
The crash becomes the ninth incident in the last three years where News 6 has reported on crashes involving small planes heading to or traveling from the private airport community.
In July, bystanders pulled the pilot and passenger from a small plane that burst into flames in an area off the Spruce Creek runway. On May 22, an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student was killed and an instructor was seriously injured in a crash. Two days later, an airplane went down near the fly-in, injuring the pilot, who suffered a head injury.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were notified of all crashes.
Florida Air Recovery was on the beach Wednesday examining the aircraft before taking it apart and towing it away. The plane is considered a total loss.
"It's done as soon as it touches salt water," Michael O'Shea, with Florida Air Recovery, said.
The plane will be taken to Jacksonville where the NTSB and FAA will continue the investigation.
"We'll hold onto it throughout the whole investigation process and any litigation process that might occur," O'Shea said.