Police in have matched an ID to a missing Florida man who they say fell out of a private plane in the Atlantic Ocean. Miami-Dade Police Department spokesman Javier Baez said the victim is 42-year-old Gerardo Nales of Key Biscayne.
Baez said air and water units were scouring the sea and expanded their search area because of currents and wind from the location of where the pilot called for help Thursday.
Police said the Florida pilot screamed “mayday, mayday, mayday” on his radio to tell an air traffic controller that a door was open and a passenger had fallen from the plane. The Piper PA 46 had just taken off from Tamiami Executive Airport, located south of Miami, Baez said.
“I have a door ajar and a passenger that fell down. I’m six miles from Tamiami,” the pilot said. “You said you’ve got a passenger that fell out of your plane?” the air traffic controller responds. “That’s correct, sir,” the pilot said. “He opened the back door and he just fell out the plane.”
Police 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 the Florida aircraft.
FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said plane was flying at about 2,000 feet, some 8 miles southeast of the Tamiami airport.
Baez said investigators have no evidence of foul play.