An Air Adventures helicopter had to make an emergency landing in the waters near Smathers Beach just before sunset today, Monday June 17th. The pilot injured his back and his eye but was still cognitive. He and the passengers were taken to the hospital. It is believed no one suffered major injury.
The wind was gusting at around 20 knots along South Roosevelt Boulevard. The helicopter was floating in the shallows thanks to air pontoons which can be inflated in case of emergency. The tail rotor appeared to be missing. “That must be what happened,” said an onsite airport security employee.
Mallorie Barrons, who works for Air Adventures, observed: “The pilot made a good job landing safely” alluding to the very difficult situation. “He did everything he had to do.”
The Air Adventures website describes the Robinson R-44 as one of the safest helicopters on the market. Air Adventure Helicopters Tours, the only helicopter tour in Key West, takes up to four people for a birds eye view of the island departing from Key West International Airport.