The body of the passenger who reportedly fell out of a small plane into the ocean has likely been found, according to Miami-Dade Police.
Police said they believe a body found in a mangrove area just south of SW 184 Street at 10:30 a.m. Saturday is 42-year-old Gerardo Nales, but authorities said they are waiting for official identification from the Medical Examiner's Office.
Nales fell out of Piper PA46 Thursday about eight miles southeast of Tamiami Airport with no parachute, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The search for his body went as far south as Turkey Point near Homestead.
The pilot was identified to NBC 6 as Felipe Fons, who received his commercial and instrument certifications when he attended Dean's International Aviation flight school at Tamiami Airport.
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In the mayday call Fons made to air traffic controllers, he described the bizarre incident.
"I have a door ajar, and a passenger that fell down. I am six miles from Tamiami," he said.
A little later, the air traffic controller asks: "So you said you had a passenger who fell out of your plane?"
"That is correct, sir. He opened the back door, and he just fall down the plane," the pilot said.
The plane took off from a local airport, located at 12800 SW 137th Ave. in Miami.
Police have not indicated any evidence of foul play and the pilot was very cooperative with the investigation, authorities said.
"There's a lot of questions that need to be answered because of the fact that the detailed involved in the incident of course raise a lot of questions," Miami-Dade Police Spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta said.
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