SALVAGE crews were working to recover a downed helicopter from a lake when they found a second helicopter in the water this week.
Video shows one of the helicopters, submerged and upside down, after the first crash was reported Tuesday morning.
Rescuers rushed to Lake Apopka, which is about 24 miles from Orlando, Florida, at 9:15 a.m.
“I’m pretty sure a helicopter just went down in the water,” said an emergency caller to a control center.
The pilot, the only person on the plane, was brought ashore by a boatman who was in the area, investigators said.
As crews worked to salvage the wreckage Wednesday morning, they encountered a second helicopter in the water.
Orange County Fire Rescue deputies said the second helicopter also crashed Tuesday and crashed into the lake around 6:45 p.m.
As the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board began investigating, footage showed one of the helicopters being pulled out of the water.
Its tail was missing and the roof was shredded.
On Thursday, the owner of the helicopters revealed what he believed had led to the consecutive crashes.
Greg Clubbs told local NBC affiliate WESH that both pilots were flying low and spraying the lake with herbicides to combat the spread of invasive plants.
The lake was calm, which created a mirror effect in the water, Clubbs said. The reflection threw off the pilots’ depth perception, causing them to plunge into the lake, according to him.
Hearing of two helicopter crashes on the same day on the same lake surprised locals.
“I’ve lived on this lake for 30 years and we’ve never had anything like this,” said neighbor Lester Bailey.
Clubbs said Coastal Helicopters has been in business for 45 years.
He said they only saw one previous accident, which he considered minor.
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5233049/helicopter-crashes-lake-apopka-florida-pilot/ Crews at the scene of the helicopter crash discover a second mysterious helicopter that crashed in the same 24 hours