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World War II-Era TBM Avenger Ditches Off Cocoa Beach During Airshow ‘Warbird Parade’

BREVARD COUNTY • COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA – Airshow fans got more than they expected on Saturday afternoon about 1:15 p.m. when a World War II era TBM Avenger was forced to ditch off Cocoa Beach due to mechanical issues. ( More...

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Chris Croft 26
This video should be shown at all Navy/Air Force training commands depicting a textbook water landing.The pilot was obviously checked out on the procedures for ditching in water.He brought her in parallel to the shore avoided swimmers/surfers,landed nose up, impacting the water with the fuselage, thus avoiding the AC flipping. He chose shallow enough water to make salvage possible and probably waded onto shore. A real Pro.
bbabis 10
It wasn't the first Avenger to ditch in the ocean but it may be the last.
ADXbear 7
I was there.. the pilot did a great job and avoided a crowded beach. Being this was the ocean, I'm sure the salt water will if not scrap the plane or cause a very costly and extensive rebuild.. glad No one was not hurt
David Ingram 6
Decisions have to be made very fast with no "go around" option. Everybody went home. Good job.
some other sites had comments that the pilot endangered swimmers (and a surfer) by ditching so close to the shore(based on the cell video) or he should have landed in some field to save the aircraft and it bothers me that everyone knows how to fly an aircraft from their living room. I can imagine that without power, that aircraft is a flying brick and the pilot had little or no time (Sully) to figure out the best plan. There is no money in the world that brings back a life, but there is plenty if they want to bring back the plane
EdwardHe 10
I grew up in Cocoa Beach, pretty near Patrick Air (I mean, "Space") Force Base, and I will tell you there are no fields nearby. Just busy roads, lots of tourists and residents, power lines and light poles, and buildings. The ocean was the best place to land.
user3956 6
Yes, WAY too many armchair pilots around these days. It's funny how none of them have any training but they seem to know better than real pilots.
R Jolly 5
Brings back memories of another very successful landing on water by Capt Sully.
Sad to see. I hope it can be salvaged in some form. Even if only for display.
It is probably able to be repaired if no significant spar or airframe damage. The salt water can be steam-cleaned off but will require a lot of disassembly to get everywhere with it. (these were carrier based aircraft so it was designed to resist salt damage to some degree) The real factor in making airworthy again will be the cost. They spent 18 years restoring it and flew it a year. Glad no one got hurt.
Ralph Wigzell 3
Thank goodness nobody was hurt.
Bill Abbott 3
Text book forced landing and even had the canopy slid back some in case he ended up under water...
rbt schaffer 3
My heart sunk watching it... It will be restored.
Gene Pardee 2
I saw from still photos on Facebook that the pilot saved his headset. The museum may own the aircraft, but the pilot owns the headset!
Bob Smith 2
"Officials said a TBM Avenger performing in the warbird parade had a mechanical issue and the pilot was able to bring the plane down close to the shore" does anyone know any thing about the "mechanical issue"?
Mark Harris 5
From the videos I have seen it looks like a partial engine failure. The engine was still running but sounded very rough and was cutting out intermittently.
mbrews 2
- My nephew is a surfer from Melbourne, FL nearby Cocoa Beach. Luckily for him and the pilot this wasn't a day for surfing.
Our generation is awfully concerned about these aircraft and their legacy. I don't see the succeeding bunch as concerned.
Mike Taylor 1
What video?
Bandrunner 1
I suspect a few of those swimmers had an unexpected toilet event.
Ohh, I saw that on the news. Wow. Sad. Hope all were well. How was the plane?
Mark Harris 6
The plane is physically undamaged but soaked in salt water so some work to do there.
Mark Harris 10
Update - the plane suffered minor damage but will be restored but it's not known at this point whether that will be to static display or airworthy status.
I don’t know why the pilot didn’t kill the engine in the few seconds before splash down. It might have prevented hydro-locking the engine. Good job in a tough situation though! Kudos to the pilot.
Chris B 0
I'm of two minds flying these old warbirds. I love it, but every year some are lost. Increasingly, I want them functional but only taxied around.....
Yes I did fly on a Mitchell last year shortly before 909 crashed.
Jon Fowler -6
If the engine was running how far was the airport ? Normal climb out, some power left, may have made it back to the airport ??
Easy to say though, I wasn't there !!!


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