2 helicopters owned by same Florida company crash into Lake Apopka just hours apart

Company claims both crashes were reported to FAA within 30 minutes of when they happened

A lot of mystery still surrounds two helicopter crashes into the same lake within hours of each other.

OAKLAND, Fla. – A lot of mystery still surrounds two helicopter crashes into the same lake within hours of each other.

The Federal Aviation Administration released a statement, which said emergency crews only discovered a second helicopter submerged in the water once crews got in the water to recover the first aircraft.

The FAA said the first helicopter went down in Lake Apopka at about 7:15 a.m. Tuesday while conducting aerial agricultural work. The second helicopter is believed to have crashed later that evening, at about 6:45 p.m.

No serious injuries have been reported.

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The tail numbers for both helicopters are registered to Coastal Helicopters Inc. based in Panama City.

When News 6 called Coastal Helicopters Inc., the person who answered didn’t give their name but said both crashes were reported to investigators within 30 minutes of when they happened. The person also said both pilots are OK.

The company’s website states their facility is a “Certified FAA repair station,” and their sister company, Coastal Air Service provides, “... aerial agricultural spraying services throughout many regions.”

William Swanner lives nearby and took photographs of one of the wrecked helicopters being recovered from the water.

“We just came down to enjoy the lake and they had a giant crane, and they were moving the helicopter from the water to the flatbed,” Swanner said.

The National Transportation Safety Board said their office will be in charge of the investigation.

No cause for the crashes has been released.


About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.