Pilot's body found in Tampa Bay helicopter crash

Helicopter crashes off Apollo Beach coast

Published On: Dec 02 2012 10:13:41 AM EST
APOLLO BEACH, Fla. -

Authorities have recovered the body of a pilot a day after his helicopter went down in Tampa Bay.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office says the body of 60-year-old John Lawrence Ward was found Saturday in the shallow waters of Tampa Bay just off Apollo Beach.

The body has been turned over to the medical examiner's office where an autopsy will determine an official cause of death.

Authorities say the helicopter left Tampa Bay Aviation out of Clearwater Friday afternoon and crashed a short time later.

Federal Aviation Administration officials said the helicopter was a Robinson R22 -- a small, two-person craft. It was located by rescuers several hundred yards from shore.

Federal officials are investigating.