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BROWARD (CBSMiami) – It was a heart stopping moment when Chopper4 discovered a plane crash on the edge of the Everglades. 

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CBS4’s helicopter pilot, Clem Carfaro, and the crew were asked by air traffic control to help in the search.

“It’s not the normal day,” Carfaro said, “but it goes through our head, often doing this type of mission. A lot of times we are first responders. We keep a kit in the helicopter just in case.”

Robbin Russell is the flight photographer. She’s also a volunteer fire fighter and EMT. When she saw a survivor on the wing, her mind began racing.

“We were relieved to see somebody was there and walking around,” said Russell. “But then the other question was, is there anybody else on board, what is their status are they really injured?”

Carfaro decided to land, making CBS4’s crew the first on the scene. They knew they had to help.

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“When you come across an accident of any sort that’s the first thing you want to do,” said Russell. “It’s just right imbedded in your brain, you want to get out and help.”

Carfaro got out of the pilot’s seat and ran to the wrecked plane. Another crew member got out too.

“Seeing the gentleman on the wing stand up was good news from my stand point,” said Carfaro, “but, it was pretty big airplane and I knew there could be other passengers on board. That’ when I made the decision to land.”

Moments later, another survivor ran back to the plane.

Right after the crash, he took off on foot along the levy looking for help.

Realizing the pilot needed more help and with ground rescue crews close by, Carfaro decided to get back in the air so he could direct fire trucks to the site.

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“Everybody was breathing, no one was under water, so at that point I was better aid to directing the authorities and emergency responders into the scene,” said Carfaro.

Ted Scouten