DESTIN, Fla. (AP) — The Coast Guard has recovered the body of a 63-year-old man who was piloting a small aircraft that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida near Destin.
Okaloosa County Sheriff Larry Ashley says in a statement that authorities received 911 calls Tuesday evening from witnesses who saw a plane hit the water. The sheriff's office, Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission subsequently launched boats to begin a search.
The pilot has been identified as Al Habetz of Louisiana. No one else was believed to have been on the plane.
The news release says Ashley apparently flew to the Destin airport earlier Tuesday, dropped off passengers and was returning to Louisiana when the crash happened.
The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.