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Moment plane nosedives into water in front of shocked swimmers at crowded beach

This is the dramatic moment a small plane crashed head-first and overturned in water at a crowded beach.

Videos taken by witnesses at Hampton beach, USA, shows a Piper PA-18 aircraft towing a banner before it somersaulted in the the shallow waters about 30 yards away from swimmers.

As it nosedived into the water, the impact sent the craft flipping over.

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The banner was torn off during the quick descent and landed on some beachgoers nearby.

Witnesses immediately rushed to offer assistance while others alerted the lifeguards to rescue the pilot, who was the only one on board.

Members of the public also joined effort to pull the plane out of water by using a heavy rope.

The incident happened shortly after 12pm on Saturday, July 29 as hundreds of people escaped the heat at the beach.

Luckily the pilot managed to swim out of the cockpit and got out safely.

Liane McNamara caught the moment on camera when she was recording her brother-in-law body-boarding in the water.

She told local media: "I said 'wow that's really low'. It just kep coming lower then it nosedived and flipped over.

"Some people were like 'is this a joke?','Is it a stunt?' It was very surreal."

Another said the pilot walked out in his clothes and shoes but looked "shaken up".

The pilot was assessed by first-aiders at the scene but did not suffer any injuries and was not taken to a hospital.

Hampton Police and Fire responded to the crash scene, along with members of US Coast Guard and New Hampshire State Police's marine patrol unit.

The beach remained open following the crash.

The plane is now on shore and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are going to investigate.

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