The 37-year-old Virginian interrupted a his fishing vacation Thursday to pull the pilot and passenger of the stricken plane into his boat the day after he helped rescue the driver of a car that had plunged off a bridge.
"I thought, 'Oh, no, I can't believe this is happening,'" Hertz told the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times. "I knew he was going to crash before he even went into the water."
Hertz, a Roanoke bank manager, was first on the scene, pulled the dazed 74-year-old pilot and his female passenger out of the water and took them to shore where they were picked up by paramedics.
St. Petersburg firefighters were planning a little ceremony for Hertz after he and another passerby saved the driver of a BMW that crashed into the bay on Wednesday when they learned of his Thursday heroics.
"He was just at the right place at the right time -- two days in a row," marveled fire Lt. Joel Granata. "That's incredible."