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Deputies: Pilot dies after private plane crashes in Everglades

Plane registered to Paul S. Soule Enterprises, based in Miami

LOXAHATCHEE WILDLIFE REFUGE, Fla.Deputies say the pilot of a small private plane has died after it crashed Saturday in the Everglades.

The Coast Guard contacted the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office, saying they had identified a private plane wreckage site, approximately 20 miles south of S.R. 80 and 20 miles west of Boynton Beach in the Everglades.

WPBF-TV reports the private flight took off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport Saturday morning. Its registered flight plan had it arriving Saturday afternoon in Leesburg, near Orlando.

For some reason, however, the plane crashed right in the middle of the Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge.

PBSO sent airboats to the crash site and a chopper overhead, but bad weather made the recovery difficult. Upon arrival, deputies said they found the pilot dead and debris scattered around.

The plane is registered to Paul S. Soule Enterprises, which is based in Miami, WPBF-TV reported. The victim has been identified as Paul Soule, who owns a financial services firm in Miami.

According to the company website, Soule was an Air Force Academy graduate, who eventually reached the rank of Lt. Colonel and had been flying planes for 57 years.

At this time, officials from the FAA and local agencies couldn't confirm whether or not anybody survived.

PBSO, FAA and the NTSB will return to the site Sunday to continue their investigation, which has been turned over to the FAA and the NTSB.

Watch Local 10 News and stay with Local10.com as this story develops.