WWII plane pilot hailed a hero after emergency landing in Cocoa Beach

A World War II-era plane crash-landed in the ocean off Cocoa Beach on Saturday. Everyone was lucky to make it out alive. Some are comparing that pilot to Captain Sully who landed a plane on the Hudson River more than a decade ago.

It’s not every day that the Cocoa Beach Air Show becomes a Cocoa Beach water show. But, eyes turned from the skies to the sea Saturday when one of the World War II-era planes in the show made an emergency landing due to a mechanical issue.

"We were all very surprised and amazed at what took place Saturday," said Cocoa Beach Air Show Director of Public Relations Chris Dirato.

Dirato says it became clear pretty quickly that the pilot, the only person on board, was OK.

"He got out of the plane and waved to the crowd on the beach to let them know that he was fine."

No one on the ground was hurt either.

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"They train for these sort of things all the time. It wasn’t an airliner, but it was reminiscent of the Sully landing, the Hudson River landing, that we all remember way back when," Dirato said.

The only thing that did suffer damage was the plane itself. Dirato says it was recently restored and now it will be torn apart to find out what went wrong.

According to the Valiant Air Command Facebook page, it will likely take years to rebuild. But things could have been a lot worse.

"Once we knew the pilot was fine, which was pretty quickly, we were able to continue the show."

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are now investigating.

Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.