The very thing that attracts millions of visitors to Florida yearly – miles of warm, clear blue water – is also one of the deadliest for boaters and airplane pilots. The miles of inviting seawater can quickly turn dangerous in the event of an airborne emergency.
Unfortunately, this was the exact situation 40-year-old Adam Barney found himself in on the morning of August 13. Barney was piloting a Commander 500 aircraft and communicated via radio to a tower in Key West that the plane’s engine was failing.
The dangerous descent towards the water ended in an emergency landing 13 miles from the coast. Authorities from Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission responded to the distress call.
Barney was retrieved three miles from the coast of Sawyer Key and taken to receive medical attention at Venture Out Resort in Cudjoe Key. According to reports, Barney did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
The plane he was flying is a model commonly built in the 1950s through the 1980s. It’s not clear what type of safety checks were performed before the plane took off. Barney was the only person aboard.
Fortunately, it seems like Barney is going to be alright, which is a positive outcome. However, the incident brings another method of travel to the forefront for Florida residents, and consideration for its related security measures.
Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath can be reached at (561) 655-1990 if you or someone you love is involved in an aviation accident.