The guy's reaction as the plane crashed into the surf might be the most SoCal reaction ever -- he yelled out, "Oh, dude!!! I have it on video!"
The fact the pilot went down so close to shore might have played a factor in his survival -- you can see lifeguards immediately sprung into action. Huntington Beach city officials tell TMZ ... those lifeguards were able to pull the pilot from the plane and quickly get him on land. He was not seriously injured, but went to a hospital to get checked out.
Interestingly, there was a junior lifeguard competition on that section of the beach, but they were not involved in the rescue. Can't beat that kinda on-the-job training, though.