Police investigators have released the identity of a Florida man who fell out of a private plane on Thursday. A search party is continuing to look for his body somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean close to Miami. Coast Guard and police units are looking both by sea and air for the body of Gerardo Nales, age 42, of Key Biscayne, Florida. The Miami-Dade Police Department identified the victim. Key Biscayne is an island that is not far from where the pilot of the small plane stated that Nales fell into the water to his death.
Police boats and helicopters were covering an area that reached from Haulover Beach, FL over to Turkey Point, but as of Friday morning, Nales body had not been discovered.
The pilot was flying a Piper PA 46 and radioed for help on Thursday afternoon. He stated ‘may day’ over the airwaves and told one of the air traffic controllers that one of the plane’s doors was open and a passenger had fallen out of the plane. The aircraft had taken off from Tamiami Airport, which is located south of Miami.
The small plane was flying at around 2,000 feet and had gone about eight miles southeast of the airfield.
Even though the Florida police department has cleared the pilot of any wrong doing, they have yet to identify the person because the investigation is considered still active and ongoing at the present time.
There has been no evidence of foul play found. The pilot’s identity has yet to be released and neither has where the airplane was planned. There were just the two people flying on board.
Crews have hurried to try and find the body of the victim and homicide detectives have started looking at whether Nales fell or jumped from the plane.
Any which way it is looked at, pilots and aviation professionals are in agreement when they say that this occurrence happened under “extremely unusual” conditions.
The pilot was said to be calm as the radioed message came through to the air traffic controller.
It is reasonable to believe that a person who falls from an aircraft without a parachute is most likely deceased. In looking for them, the operation becomes a recovery mission. It is not considered a search and research any longer, explained one of the police officers from the Miami-Dade police force.
The small plane is still at the airport where the pilot landed after making the call. When he landed, he asked for emergency aid for Nales. He stayed with police investigators at the airport until after dark.
It is not known if or how Nales and the pilot knew each other. The plane was also flying using only visual flight rules. It did not have any sort of flight plane filed.
The FAA does not give out names of passengers or pilots.
However, research shows Florida state records that the aircraft was registered to a company called Wings of Flight. The business is registered to a person named Dennis Haber, who is supposedly an aviation attorney.
Police have stated that they are investigating Nales death because his plunge leaves numerous questions, such as why would someone open a door in the middle of a flight.
So the investigation continues into why the Florida man fell from the airplane.
By Kimberly Ruble