Canton man helps in rescue after plane crash

Dave Scott was recently caught up in the tale of a downed plane and the rescue of its occupants down in the Florida Keys, but he won’t add to any scuttlebutt when it comes to sharing the story.

“I was going to go out to a couple of my favorite watering holes last night, but I didn’t because I was so tired of telling the story,” Scott said Wednesday by phone from Marathon, Fla. “There’s nothing really to it.”

Scott, who is probably one of few musicians in Key West not to exaggerate his maritime tale, is a bit wary of his new celebrity.

The 71-year-old retired entrepreneur and his wife, Teresa, spend their summer months in Canton, where they’ve had a home since 1975. Winters are for soaking up rays in Marathon. In both settings, Scott makes his money as a musician.

They set out Monday on a pleasure cruise and, as they approached the canal that leads to their home, they saw a plane, engines sputtering, dive into the water.

“As we were coming in, I saw a little bi-plane and my wife said, ‘That plane doesn’t sound right,'” Scott said. “It went down in about 11 feet of water. Its tail was sticking straight up in the air.”

Acting quickly, Scott radioed the Coast Guard and remained on the line with them. He cautiously approached the wreckage, not knowing when or where the plane’s occupants would emerge.

Another boater was nearby, operating a flats boat, fishing for bonefish. He got there first.

“I was trying to talk on the phone, steer the boat and look for these people as I came up to the wreckage,” Scott said. “Pretty soon, I saw three heads pop up.”

The single-engine tour plane is based at the Marathon Airport and is operated by Conch Air, a company that says it offers aerial tours of the Florida Keys in replica planes from the 1950s, according to television station WSVN.

The pilot and his two passengers were fine. Most of the damage occurred to the pocketbook of the flats boat driver. As he approached the wreckage, he recognized the $95,000 plane. He was the owner.

“He told me, ‘I’m getting out of the business,'” Scott laughed. “He only goes fishing once or twice a month, so it’s ironic he was right there when it happened.”

The pilot, Alvin Reinauer of Key Largo, saved the day by all accounts, according to Scott and the plane’s owner. The cause of the crash still is under investigation.

Still, Scott insisted, all parties were lucky that things turned out the way they did.

“Another minute or two either way, he could have been in 30 feet of water or on top my house,” Scott said.

As for his newfound fame – Scott has been interviewed by two news channels from Miami, CNN and The Weather Channel since Monday – he’d prefer a return to anonymity.

“I don’t like it,” Scott said of the recent exposure. “I’m just glad everyone’s all right.”

 

Justin Glawe can be reached at 686-3196 or jglawe@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinGlawe.

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