Tampa police pull helicopter pilot from water after crash landing
Newly released body cam video showed the moment that Tampa police officers rescued a helicopter pilot after his aircraft lost power and crashed into the waters off of the Davis Islands.
Tampa police said the helicopter was finishing a sightseeing tour for a family of three when it lost power on the way back to the Peter O. Knight Airport.
According to the pilot and another survivor, the helicopter made a loud banging noise before losing power, causing the pilot to make a water landing near the Davis Islands Yacht Club.
“I was in the front,” said Hunter Hupp, one of the survivors. “I asked the pilot if we just hit something. He goes, ‘No, but this isn’t really good.'”
Fortunately for the helicopter’s occupants, Buccaneers quarterback Blaine Gabbert and his brothers were in the area and heard the crash. When they went to check it out, they spotted the survivors’ life jackets and rode their jet skis to the crash site.
After the Gabbert brothers saved the family of three and got them on their jet skis, marine patrol officers with the Tampa Police Department pulled the helicopter pilot from the water.
“The engine quit on me,” the pilot said after he was pulled out of the water.
“Glad you guys all got out, man,” an officer told the pilot.
The body cam video also showed the officers getting the Gabbert brothers’ information after the survivors were taken to safety.
“Way to be in the right spot, man, at the right time,” an officer told them.
Shortly before noon Friday, a Sea Tow pulled the helicopter from the water. The crash remains under investigation.