It's a Convair 340.
Plane ditches in Atlantic near Sunny Isles Beach
A pilot and co-pilot suffered only minor injuries after they ditched their cargo plane into the ocean about 200 yards off the coast of Sunny Isles Beach late Thursday night.Witnesses said the TransAir Link cargo plane had managed to bypass beachfront high-rises to the north before it made a graceful landing in the water at about 11 p.m.
The plane had left the Hollywood-Fort Lauderdale Airport shortly before and was en route to Opa-locka airport, according to Sunny Isles Beach police at the scene.
As soon as the twin-engine plane landed, George Perez and Alex Sanso climbed out and sat on the wing for a few minutes, waving to the crowd gathering on the shore. A wave knocked them off, and they were rescued by divers from the Miami-Dade Police Department. Perez and Sanso were taken to Aventura Hospital where they were treated for scrapes and bruises.``Our concern right now is to get a plan to get it out of the water because of the fuel,'' said Sgt. Tom Hopkins of the Sunny Isles Beach police. He said the pilots estimated there were 200 to 1,000 of gallons of fuel on board the plane. The U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were contacted, he said.
No one at the scene knew if the plane was carrying cargo. Hopkins said the pilots had been in contact with controllers at Miami International Airport, but it was not known what caused them to make an emergency landing. Witnesses said they did not hear engines before the plane landed.The plane, a 50-foot Convair 340, is a 50-passenger converted cargo craft registered to World Aviation Services Inc., of 7001 NW 25th St. in Miami. The corporation, which has five registered aircraft, including a McDonnell-Douglas DC-10, three Convair 340s and a Lockheed 188C, has no record of previous accidents.
Late Thursday, the plane lay bobbing in the surf, waves pounding against the fuselage, as tourists and beach regulars gathered on the shuffleboard court behind the Driftwood Hotel, 17121 Collins Avenue. As the waves pushed the plane in, the tail broke off.Armando Flores said he was on the balcony of his Driftwood Hotel unit when he heard kids on the beach screaming.``They're yelling, `The plane! The plane!' I looked up and saw it coming around the high-rises,'' Flores said. ``It was a tremendous landing, just like at the airport.''
Staff writer Keny Feijoo contributed to this report.