Pilot’s body, plane wreckage found in Oak Hill hours after initial search, deputies say

Identity of pilot not yet determined

Volusia County Sheriff's Office (WKMG 2021)

OAK HILL, Fla. – The wreckage of a plane crash and the body of the pilot were found Wednesday evening in Oak Hill, hours after an initial search for the crash site yielded no results.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said deputies, along with Edgewater police officers and the Civil Air Patrol, found the small, experimental aircraft about 2 miles northeast of Turnbull Hammock Conservation Area after 7 p.m.

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News 6 received a tip about a possible downed plane around noon Wednesday. When questioned about the validity of the tip, the sheriff’s office replied via email, “So far, (it) sounds like a false alarm. No downed planes located.”

The sheriff’s office said Thursday it received an initial call of a possible plane crash before noon Wednesday, but deputies were not able to find a downed plane.

“Deputies canvassed the area and talked to residents, who indicated all of the aircraft stationed in the area were on the ground in their hangar at the time,” a release reads.

Officials said around 4:17 p.m. the sheriff’s office was notified of an emergency beacon from an aircraft that was activated earlier in the day and when deputies performed a well-being check of the registered owner, they did not receive an answer at the door and found his hangar was empty.

A search began and deputies were able to find the wreckage in a heavily wooded area a few hours later, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies said while the likely identity of the male pilot who was found with the wreckage is known, he has not yet been positively identified.

Investigators have notified the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. Agents from both agencies will investigate the cause of the crash.

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.