Man dead after small plane crashes off Elliott Key

NTSB investigating cause of crash

ELLIOTT KEY, Fla. - Police said the lone person inside a small plane died Sunday in a crash off Elliott Key.

The pilot was identified Monday as Ricardo Barboza, 51, of Coral Gables.

"It looked like they were doing figure eights," witness JC Vina told Local 10 News.

Witnesses said they saw the single-engine Cessna nosedive about 200 yards east of Elliott Key into the water, which was only about 10 feet deep, about 3 p.m. Sunday.

"One moment we saw the plane flying around," Vina said. "The next thing, we hear a plane dive."

Within minutes, witnesses said, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard swarmed the crash site. Divers searched through the watery wreckage that Sky 10 captured just below the surface.

Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said rescue divers found a man's body inside the plane.

Police searched the surrounding area as well and do not believe anyone else was on the plane.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

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