Banner airplane crashes into ocean along Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

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Monday, July 31, 2023
Airplanes crash into the ocean near beachgoers
Two airplanes crashed over the last few days on two separate beaches in the United States.

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WTVD) -- A small airplane flying an advertising banner across Myrtle Beach crashed Monday.

It happened around 11:30 a.m. near the 40th Avenue public beach access, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Myrtle Beach Police Department said the pilot was the only person on board when the crash happened. The pilot survived the crash; they were treated at a nearby hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. An eyewitness posted on Facebook that the pilot was conscious and speaking after being taken to shore.

The plane is a Piper PA-12 Fixed Wing Single-Engine Aircraft made in 1947. It has a blue body and yellow wings.

The plane remained in the water for several hours. It was towed out of the ocean and onto the beach around 2 p.m., according to area ABC affiliate WPDE.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident. Local police were coordinating Tuesday afternoon with the U.S. Coast Guard, FAA and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to remove the plane from the sea, Starling said.

Five people died earlier this month in a fiery single-engine plane wreck by a golf course in nearby North Myrtle Beach. Another banner plane landed earlier this weekend off a crowded New Hampshire beach. Lifeguards rescued the pilot without any injuries.

Another plane crashes on the beach

Incredibly, that was not the only single-engine airplane to crash into a beach in the last couple days.

A small plane that crashed into the ocean just off a New Hampshire beach over the weekend flipped upside down when it hit the water before slowly rolling back into an upright position.

The pilot of the single-engine Piper PA-18 plane that had been pulling a banner advertising a concert made his own way out of the aircraft after Saturday's noontime crash and was assisted ashore by Hampton Beach lifeguards who moments before had been keeping a close eye on swimmers.

The pilot was evaluated at the scene but was not hurt, police said.

The plane had been buzzing over the crowded beach all morning dragging a banner for an Eagles tribute band playing Saturday night at a local venue, said Tammy Nowlan of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, who was at the beach with her boyfriend and caught video of the crash on her phone.

When the plane dropped the banner, she knew something was wrong.

"I remember my boyfriend saying, 'Looks like something fell off that plane,'" Nowlan said on Monday.

She grabbed her phone and captured the plane hitting the water about 30 yards (27 meters) off the shore and somersaulting over.

"It was the craziest thing," she said. "It just slowly glided in like something from a movie. I saw the pilot get out and he was safe, and I said, 'Thank goodness.'"

Authorities did not release the pilot's name but the aircraft is registered to the owner of Sky Lines Aerial Advertising, based at nearby Hampton Airfield, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. Voicemail messages were left with the company on Monday.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

According to preliminary information released by the FAA on Monday, the aircraft crashed "for unknown reasons."

The plane was hauled onto the sand and eventually turned over to the owner.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.