Body found in Miami likely passenger who fell from small plane: police

Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:26pm EST

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(Reuters) - A body found in Miami on Saturday is likely that of a passenger who plunged from a small private airplane as it flew off the city's coast two days ago, police said.

The body was discovered at about 10:30 a.m. on the ocean side of a mangrove area by the Miami-Dade Police Department's marine units, Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said in a statement.

Gerardo Nales, a 42-year-old resident of Key Biscayne, Florida, had been missing since he either jumped or fell into Biscayne Bay during a flight on Thursday afternoon, according to the plane's pilot.

"Even though we presume that the body found is that of Gerardo Nales, investigators are pending 'official identification' from the Medical Examiner's Office," the police statement said.

An employee at the medical examiner's office declined comment.

Nales was the plane's sole passenger and police have said they do not know if his fall was deliberate or accidental. Investigators also have not revealed the reason for the flight.

"It's still open and ongoing," Detective Javier Baez told Reuters, when asked if possible foul play had been ruled out by police investigators.

The pilot of the Piper PA-46 aircraft has not been publicly identified.

In a recording of his "mayday" call to air traffic controllers, the pilot can be heard blaming the incident on his passenger.

"You said you've got a passenger that fell out of your plane?" an air traffic controller asked.

"That's correct, sir," the pilot responded. "He opened the back door and he just fell out the plane."

(Reporting by Noreen O'Donnell in New York; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Eric Beech)

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Comments (2)
SKYDRIFTER wrote:
Too much is left out of the story, thus far. People just don’t accidentally fall out of aircraft.

The victim’s identity is known; but not the pilot’s? Who owns and operates the aircraft? Why no reference to; or word from the owner(s)?

What is known about the deceased? What does his pre-autopsy body and clothing reflect?

What was the nature of the flight? The aircraft is too expensive for most individuals to go on either a point-to-point charter; or a local ‘tour’ flight. What was the point of departure; and the original point of intended landing? Who paid for the flight? Was the door still open upon landing?

This is a story worth following.

Nov 16, 2013 9:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
What is up with this? We see the plane, we know someone fell out of it, was pushed out of it, whatever. This makes no sense. Perhaps we will learn more as days go by, we’ll see.

Nov 17, 2013 3:04am EST  --  Report as abuse
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