Search continues for 24-year-old pilot

By Michelle Solomon, Podcast Producer/Reporter – Amanda Batchelor, Managing Editor

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A small plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean Sunday night about one mile from the Boynton Beach Inlet and the plane was finally located by the U.S. Coast Guard and local agencies on Monday morning.

According to Coast Guard officials, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed that a 24-year-old man was the sole occupant aboard the Piper 28 aircraft.

Authorities are still searching for the man, including the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, which has deployed divers to the area.

The crash happened around 8 p.m. Sunday, according to TV station WPBF.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, small boat and cutter were in the area and conducted a search and rescue mission throughout the evening. They were back out again Monday morning to continue their search efforts.

Officials told the Palm Beach TV station that the plane is a Piper 28 and seats four passengers.

It is not known at this time where the plane had taken off from or what its destination was.

Jonathan Whitmore told WPBF he was fishing at the North Pier when the plane went down. He said it was flying from west to east, out toward the ocean when it crashed into the water.

At one point, he and others fishing with him heard a noise, he said.

“When we looked up, we thought it was a drone or something and all of a sudden we heard a loud boom and we saw the plane nose dive into the water,” Whitmore said.