Authorities investigate fatal plane crash off Dania Beach

Experienced pilot identified as victim of Cessna crash

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – Federal authorities were investigating on Sunday a plane crash that left an experienced pilot and another victim dead off Dania Beach.

Authorities  found the bodies of Fred Gautzsch and a passenger after the Cessna 172 aircraft  went down into the water about a mile south of Port Everglades.

A Broward Sheriff's Office air rescue helicopter found plane wreckage and two bodies on Saturday, officials said. Gautzsch was pronounced dead at Station Fort Lauderdale.

The plane -- registered to Volux Aviation -- departed from Pompano Beach Airpark. In a LiveATC archived call, Gautzsch said he was headed to Ocean Reef in Key Largo.

Gautzch, an experienced pilot, was in communication with the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's tower control when a woman warned him of heavy rain.

Gautzch later reported changing his course to fly back north.

The National Transportation Safety Board was leading the investigation, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

Local 10 News' Melissa Alvarez, Derel Shore, Liane Morejon, Ian Margol, and Carlos Suarez contributed to this story. 

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