August 31, 2017
Passenger Falls From Plane Over South Florida Coast

Police are searching for a passenger who fell from a small plane over the South Florida coast this afternoon, the plane's pilot reportedly claimed.

A Mayday call came into air traffic controllers at around 1:30 pm ET on Thursday, alerting them to a possible man in the water off the Biscayne Bay waters.

The Piper PA 46 was flying about eight miles southeast of Tamiami Executive Airport at 1,800 feet when the incident took place.

The US Coast Guard said it was searching the waters southeast off Key Biscayne by air and sea in an effort to locate the man.

Miami police is questioning the pilot who placed the emergency call.

According to ABC News, the call that came in said:

"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! I have a door ajar and I'm heading toward Tamiami. I have a door ajar and a passenger that fell down. I'm six miles from Tamiami."

"You said you've got a passenger that fell out of your plane?" the air traffic controller asked the pilot.

"That's correct, sir. He opened the backdoor and he just fell out the plane," said the pilot, who has not been identified.

The airplane landed safely at Tamiami airport and homicide detectives were called in to question the pilot, who was the only person on board aside from the missing passenger, according to

Meanwhile, divers with the Miami-Dade police department are still searching for the passenger who fell from the plane.

The area they are working in is between the Cape Florida Lighthouse on Key Biscayne and the seashore in Key Biscayne.

The Coast Guard station in Miami Beach sent a search and rescue boat to look through the waters where the passenger is thought to have fallen from the plane.

Miami-Dade County Air Rescue also dispatched a helicopters to aid in the search, but that helicopter has since been called back.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began investigating the incident after it was called by air traffic controllers who received the Mayday from the pilot reporting the passenger had fallen from the plane.