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Police Identify Passenger Who Fell From Plane Near Miami

Authorities frantically searched the waters off the coast of Miami after a pilot said his passenger fell from the plane during flight.
Posted at 7:52 AM, Nov 15, 2013

Florida authorities' frantic search for a man who fell from a passenger plane Thursday has become a recovery mission.

​"Mayday, mayday, mayday! ... I have a door ajar and a passenger that fell down. ... He opened the back door, and he fell out of the plane." (Via ABC)

Police identified the passenger as 42-year old Gerardo Nales of Key Biscayne; however, it is still uncertain if the fall was intentional or accidental. (Via Telemundo)

The aircraft was reportedly flying nearly 2,000 feet above Miami's Biscayne Bay at the time of the incident. The pilot was roughly 8 miles away from Tamiami Executive Airport when he called air traffic control. (Via KSAZ)

After making the distress call, the unidentified pilot landed safely at the airport, and Miami-Dade police and the U.S. Coast Guard began their search for the passenger in the water. (Via WINK)

"The pilot is very cooperative with the investigation. He's been talking to them all afternoon." ​(Via WTVJ)

But authorities say they found nothing after several hours, and they called back the planes, helicopters and rescue boats just before nightfall. (Via WXXA)

Officials resumed their search early Friday morning, but they think Nales' chances of survival are grim. (Via New York Daily News)

A spokesperson for the Miami-Dade police told the Miami Herald, "It's safe to say someone falling out of an airplane without a parachute is going to be deceased."

Authorities say they have no evidence of foul play, but the Miami-Dade homicide unit continues to look into the incident.