Coast Guard Continues Search for Missing Florida Pilot

VENICE, Fla. – Coast Guard and Venice Police Department rescue crews are continuing the search for a 64-year-old man reported to be aboard a fixed-wing aircraft that crashed in the Gulf of Mexico near Venice, Fla., at about 9:30 p.m., Monday.

Members from the Venice Police Department and a Coast Guard 41-foot rescue boat crew from Station Cortez, Fla., are on scene with sonar equipment searching for the downed aircraft. An HH-60 Jayhawk rescue helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater, Fla., is also searching the area. On-scene weather conditions are reported to include two- to four-foot seas and 18-knot winds.

The plane is reported to be a 1977 four-seated, fixed-wing, single-engine Piper PA-28-161, and was reported to have been coming in for landing at the Venice Municipal Airport.

The name of the man is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification.

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