MIAMI – The medical examiner identified a body found in mangroves as the man who fell from an airplane southeast of Miami on Thursday.
Police found the body of 42-year-old Gerardo Nales about eight miles south of Matheson Hammock Marina over the weekend. It washed up in the mangroves near Southwest 181st Street.
The call about Nales' fall came at 1:30 p.m. Thursday from the pilot of a Piper PA 46 aircraft, said FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen. The plane was flying at about 2,000 feet when the pilot radioed in, she said.
"Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! I have a door ajar and I'm heading to Tamiami," the pilot told an air traffic controller in a transmission obtained from LiveATC.net. "I have a door ajar and a passenger that fell down. I am six miles from Tamiami."
"You said you had a passenger that fell out of your plane?" asked the air traffic controller.
"That's correct, sir. He opened the back door and he just fall [sic] out of the plane," the pilot replied.
Dean's Flight School identified the pilot as Felipe Fons, saying he attended flight school and completed his training just recently. The plane is registered to Wings of Flight, LLC.
The flight originated from Tamiami Executive Airport.
Records say Nales put his Key Biscayne condominium and real estate holdings under a business name and signed off on the transfers two years ago. Fons and the owner of the plane, aviation attorney Dennis Haber, haven't responded to calls for comment.