Plane crash that killed father & son near Mayport ruled accidental in preliminary report

Blunt impact trauma was determined cause of death

By Nick Jones - Digital producer

A crane lifts the plane's engine and prop recovered from the ocean.

MAYPORT, Fla. - The deaths of a father and son who died when their small plane crashed in the ocean near Mayport were caused by blunt impact trauma, according to the autopsy report from the Medical Examiner's Office.

The occupants aboard the missing plane were identified as Peter Renzulli, 51, of Bridgewater, and his 18-year-old son, Daniel. It was determined the plane crash was accidental.

The single-engine plane crashed Dec. 20 off the coast of Little Talbot Island, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Coast Guard said the aircraft was headed to New Jersey from Orlando.

News4Jax aviation expert Ed Booth believes the pilot ignored weather reports on the day of the crash, and said the crash could have been prevented.

It was Sea Hunt Survey International that located the wreckage that sat at the bottom of the sea for about seven weeks. The plane was found in 3½ hours using side scan-sonar technology.

The report can be read here

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