Sunday, July 05, 2020

Cessna 150G, N3084S: Incident occurred June 27, 2020 in Surf City, Ocean County, New Jersey

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Aircraft crash landed in water for unknown reasons. 

High Exposure Inc

Date: 27-JUN-20
Time: 19:33:00Z
Regis#: N3084S
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 150
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: BANNER TOW
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 91

Scott Meggitt, left, and Charlie Osborne of the Surf City beach patrol helped rescue the pilot of a banner plane that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 27th, 2020.

Two Surf City lifeguards had no idea what awaited them when a banner plane sank out of the sky Saturday afternoon and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean a couple hundred feet off the Jersey Shore.

The lifeguards — 21-year-old Scott Meggitt and 20-year-old Charlie Osborne — raced into action, using separate paddle boards to reach the Cessna 150 pilot and load him onto a surf rescue board for the trip back to the beach. Emergency personnel were waiting there to treat the man for what turned out to be minor injuries.

“It was definitely one for the books,“ Meggitt said Monday morning. “I’ve never seen anything like that, but we do train for all these type of things, plane crashes and boat fires so we kind of knew what to do but we didn’t know what to expect. We were talking afterward — we were paddling out and we had no clue what to expect. The tension and adrenaline were building and when we got out there and there was only one victim and he had just minor injuries, that was a big relief.”

Meggitt, who was stationed in the lifeguard chair on North 12th Street, said he sensed there might be a problem when he saw the plane flying well below its normal speed as it headed north.

“The plane started going pretty low,” Meggitt said. “You saw the banner drop at about 3rd Street, but it wasn’t too concerning at the point. I was assuming it was just a malfunction or he was having issues and ditching the banner would help him out, but it just started going down more and more.”

Meggitt said at the point, he jumped out of the chair and started heading toward the water. Osborne, who was on the stand at the 14th Street beach, also prepared to jump on his paddle board as the plane cartwheeled, hit the water and sank within 15 seconds. The pilot managed to escape the plane before it went under.

“It happened so quick,” said Meggitt, a rising senior at Ithaca College majoring in anthropology and outdoor adventure leadership. “It was very surprising. There was no sign of any plane, it was just the victim treading water.”

When Meggitt and Osborne reached the pilot, he hold them he had put the plane down and climbed out a window.

“He was pretty much able to rescue himself,” said Meggitt, who added that Osborne spotted the pilot first. “Luckily there was no one else in the plane and he was able to able to rescue himself. It could have gone really south if he didn’t get out.”

Meggitt, who has worked the stand on 12th Street for four years, said he was thankful for the compliments the lifeguards have received and was quick to credit Osborne, who is studying aerospace engineering at the University of Virginia.

“We’re all happy about how it turned out because the pilot is OK.”

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the 3:20 p.m. crash with the National Transportation Safety Board working to determine the cause.


  1. Brilliant outcome. Great rescue from those on shore. Nice job ditching the airplane. Nose high. Wings level. Speed low.

    Is possible the pilot did something stupid to be in this position in the first place. But did a very good job with the landing. Well done.

  2. The pilot is apparently commenting on the Youtube channel in this story link. Here's one post he said (if he's the legit pilot and he sounds legit):

    Cory Morris
    6 days ago (edited)

    "I assure you the stall horn was going off, I was in the plane lol I didn't dump full flaps like I should have I regret that may have let me slow down enough to not flip. But I had around 20 seconds from when the engine cut to when I was going in the water. I was only about 500 feet not a lot of time. There was a minimum 20 knot tail wind that day. I made it from Cape May to Long Branch in North Jersey in 2 hours indicating 45 knots, ground speed was almost never below 70. Extremely turbulent gusty day, wasn't fun before the crash and that part definitely wasn't fun. Don't recommend!"