Tags: pilot | passenger | jump | plane

Pilot: Passenger Jumped Out of Plane; No Charges for Pilot

Friday, 15 Nov 2013 05:25 PM

By Ken Mandel

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The pilot of a single-engine plane, whose lone passenger fell or jumped from an open door to his death in Miami's Biscayne Bay, has been cleared by Florida police.

"The pilot is cooperating. He has not been charged with anything," Miami-Dade Police spokeswoman Robin Pinkard told ABCNews.com.

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The pilot's name hasn't been released. He had radioed a "mayday" after Gerardo Nales, 42, of Key Biscayne, Fla., opened the door at around 1:30 p.m. local time on Thursday, ABC News reported. The Piper PA46 propeller plane was about a mile offshore and eight miles southeast of Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport.

"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," according to air traffic recordings released by the independent website liveATC.net, ABCNews reported.

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

"That's correct, sir. He opened the backdoor and he just fell out the plane," the pilot responded.

Police and Coast Guard units on Friday continued an air and sea search for Nales' body. Police told ABC News that the pilot was interviewed Thursday by homicide detectives after he returned to Tamiami airport.

This is the second tragic mishap aboard a small aircraft this month. On Nov. 5, Gregory McFadden, 61, died when he fell 750 feet from a helicopter near the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach, Calif. The pilot, Corbin Street, reported to John Wayne Airport air traffic controllers that McFadden jumped while they were on a 30-minute tour of the coast, according to CBS Los Angeles.

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