Missing plane, pilot remains, found in central Florida

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 20, 2014 12:57 PM

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - A man walking in deep woods in central Florida late Sunday found the wreckage of a small plane that disappeared shortly after takeoff April 5, as well as the remains of what is believed to be the pilot, authorities said.

Theodore Weiss, 74, of Zephryhills and New York, flew out of the Dunnellon/Marion County Airport southwest of Ocala on his way to Zephyrhills in an experimental type, two-seat, low wing aircraft, according to the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office.

Citrus and Hernando County sheriffs’ offices coordinated a search that covered 41,000 acres of forest area between the Dunnellon Airport and Zephyrhills without finding the wreckage, the office said in a statement.

Weiss had no passengers and left without filing a flight plan, according to Capt. James Pogue of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The crash site, stumbled upon by an unidentified person, was obscured from the air by thick tree canopy, Pogue said.

Pogue said the agency was waiting for the medical examiner to formally identify the remains as those of Weiss.

Pogue said investigators from the National Transportation and Safety Board were on their way to the site.

(Editing by David Adams)