MIAMI (AP) — Authorities released the identity Friday of a Florida man who they say fell out of a private plane, and searchers continued looking for his body in the Atlantic Ocean near Miami.
Miami-Dade Police Department spokesman Javier Baez identified the man as 42-year-old Gerardo Nales of Key Biscayne, an island not far from where the plane’s pilot said Nales fell into the water. Baez said police air and water units were scouring the sea and expanded their search area because of currents and wind.
The search ended at nightfall Friday and will resume Saturday morning, Baez said.
The pilot of the Piper PA 46 called for help Thursday afternoon, radioing “mayday, mayday, mayday” and telling an air traffic controller that a door was open and a passenger had fallen from the plane. The aircraft had just taken off from Tamiami Executive Airport, located south of Miami, Baez said.
The identity of the pilot has not been released, nor has the intended destination of the plane. Baez said there were only two people on board.
FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said plane was flying at about 2,000 feet, some 8 miles southeast of the Tamiami airport.