Beach Helicopter Crash

By: Mike Tolbert
By: Mike Tolbert

Three people escaped serious injury after their small helicopter crashed Wednesday on Panama City Beach.

It happened just a little after 3 p.m. behind Sharkey's restaurant on Front Beach Road.

The pilot Wesley Hauk says he experienced a mechanical problem and had to set the chopper down in the sand.

Martin Williams and Shannon Sabotka were passengers on board at the time. Williams suffered a small cut to the head but all were treated by paramedics at the scene and released.

Witnesses say the helicopter had just taken off from its base near the crash site.

Robbie Ryder, tourist, said, “I spoke to a couple and they said he was doing just fine he was flying around and kept getting lower and lower to the beach and next thing you know, it was like all the power cut off and boom he hit the ground. He went forward and then rocked back and tore the tail off and everything.”

The chopper is owned by Paradise Helicopters whose base is near the crash site.

The crash investigation will be eventually turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board.


8195 Front Beach Road Panama City Beach, FL 32407 Station: 850-234-7777 News: 850-230-5221 Fax: 850-233-6647 FCC Form 398
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