The only son of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) owner and chairman Vince McMahon and the pilot of a small helicopter made a controlled emergency landing on Wednesday morning in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island’s Gilgo Beach.
According to Suffolk County official emergency response was prompted soon after.
47 year old Shane McMahon had left the family business in 2009, but he returned back to WWE in the year 2016.
During a news brief he told that he wanted to make a family visit and had chartered the Robinson R44.
According to the pilot and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials, the chopper took off from West Side heliport in Manhattan and flew along the south shore over the ocean. At around 10:25 am, the Robinson R44 went down in the water nearly half a mile off the shore.
As per the pilot, Mario Regtien, a loud and strange noise was heard and it became clear to him that he cannot fly the chopper any longer. He decided to make a soft emergency landing thereafter.
Shane McMahon explained that the pilot was super calm and this made him feel calm too.
Everything happened quite quickly, leaving him little time to react. However, it was still a bit scary.
It is very unsettling when something is happening to you all of a sudden, McMahon added, a bang was heard and the very next second it is heard that we are going down for an emergency landing in the water.
Regtien explained that the landing was soft and everything was found OK. After that we waited for the Coast Guard to arrive.
Authorities say an Mayday call was made by the pilot just before the emergency landing. This call was heard by a commercial airplane flying to John F. Kennedy International Airport, which notified the FAA controllers.
Both Shane McMahon and the pilot were not hurt. They both had life vests and one of them was rescued by a kayaker and the other by NYPD divers.
The incident has been described as a crash by the FAA, however, videos show the red Robinson R44 helicopter resting on pontoons, and does not look submerged.
The pontoons were deployed by the pilot to enable the helicopter to land safely on water and the R44 is capable of landing on water.
Shane McMahon appreciated and thanked the instant response shown by the Coast Guard, Suffolk and NYPD marine units, along with other personnel.
The incident is being investigated by the FAA.
The Robinson R44 is often used for tours, photography and training purpose.
As per records of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Robinson R44 has been involved in 221 crashes from 1993 to present. 230 people have lost their lives as a result of these crashes.
In the past 5 years alone, this type of chopper is involved in 39 crashes in US.