A small helicopter carrying SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon and one other person made a controlled emergency landing in the Atlantic Ocean off Long Island’s Gilgo Beach Wednesday morning, prompting a major emergency response, according to Suffolk County officials and NBC New York.
Shane McMahon chartered the Robinson R44 for a family visit, he said at a news briefing. The chopper departed from Manhattan’s West Side heliport and flew over the ocean along the south shore before it went down in the water about a half-mile off shore around 10:25 AM, the pilot and federal officials said.
Authorities say the pilot made a Mayday call just before the emergency landing. A commercial flight heading to John F. Kennedy International Airport heard the call for help and notified FAA controllers, the agency said. McMahon and the other passenger ended up in the water but both had life vests. A kayaker rescued one of them; NYPD divers helped the other. They weren’t hurt.
The FAA described the incident as a crash, as video from the scene showed the red helicopter resting on pontoons, apparently not submerged. The pilot, Mario Regtien, said he heard a strange noise and it became clear to him he couldn’t keep flying the chopper. So he made a soft emergency landing, deploying the pontoons to allow the aircraft to land safely.
“Mario was super calm, which made me super calm, and we landed perfectly,” McMahon said. But it was still a bit of a scare. “It’s very unsettling when all of a sudden you have something happen,” he said. “You hear a bang and then you start saying, ‘We’re going to do an emergency landing in the water,’ so it’s very unnerving.”
McMahon thanked the Coast Guard and Suffolk and NYPD marine units, along with other emergency personnel, for their near-instantaneous response. The FAA is still investigating the reasons of this crash.
Shane McMahon was on SmackDown Live yesterday night in Birmingham, Alabama, and took part of a backstage segment involving the participants of the Fatal-5-Way match for the #1 contendership for SmackDown Women’s Championship. WWE just posted a report to confirm Shane McMahon was alright and “the WWE Universe shouldn’t worry” as “everyone is safe and sound.”