WINDERMERE, Fla. (WSVN) — A father and his 9-year-old daughter are safe after, officials said, their small plane crashed into a Central Florida lake, Friday evening.
The 49-year-old pilot is heard on the radio trying to comfort his daughter seconds before the plane plunged into Lake Down, about 10 miles west of Orlando, just after 6:10 p.m. “Large lake beneath me and, oh, my gosh, it will be OK, babe,” he said.
Two fishermen captured the moment the single-engine Piper went into the water on cellphone video. “Did this really just happen?” one of the men is heard saying in the video.
The fishermen called 911 and rushed to help as the plane slipped beneath the surface. “They actually had just surfaced up, so we got them out of the water,” said good Samaritan Austin Keaton. “I got the girl, he got the dad. The girl had super bad trauma on her head, and the dad had pretty bad back pain.”
“She was 9 years old. When we pulled her out, she was just crying uncontrollably,” said the second fisherman.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane started having engine trouble shortly after takeoff from Orlando Executive Airport. It is unknown where the passengers were headed.
The fishermen posted a picture of the father and daughter on Instagram moments after the rescue. They took the victims to a nearby boat ramp where they were met by paramedics.
The passengers were then taken to area hospitals and are expected to be OK.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
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