PALM COAST, Fla. – The Flagler County Sheriff's Office says the wreckage of a plane missing since a 77-year-old pilot took off Friday from Palm Coast was found Saturday near Pellicer Creek west of Interstate 95, but efforts to reach the crash site to see if the pilot survived have been suspended for the second night in a row.
Due to the remote location, Florida Fish and Wildlife is responding by boat. Right now it is unknown if anyone is on board.
Authorities said due to incoming tides, the removal efforts have been hindered because of additional challenges and hazards for emergency personnel. However, as the tides recede, officials will return to the site to continue making preparations for the recovery Monday morning.
Deputies say the Flagler County Airport manager told them the pilot, Raymond A. Miller, of Palm Coast, took off in a northeasterly direction Friday and never returned. Airport officials also told deputies that pilots are not required to file a flight plan in the type of private plane piloted by Miller.
Investigators say Miller's family told law enforcement they spoke to the missing pilot at 7 p.m. Thursday and at that time he told them that he was taking the plane out on Friday to practice touch and go landings.
Deputies say the farthest Miller has flown the plane in the past is about 15 miles and he has no known health issues.
The plane is described as an unpainted aluminum Sonex–Waiex experimental-type aircraft according to deputies, with "461MM" on the tail section.
The crash is now being handled by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Anyone who may have seen the plane overhead on Friday is urged to call the Flagler County Sheriff's Office non-emergency line at 386-313-4911.