DESTIN, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - UPDATE: February 12, 11:45 am
The victims of Thursday's plane crash off the coast of Destin have been identified.
James Shumberg, 67, of Alvin, Texas, was the pilot and his passenger was Sheryl Roe, 60, also of Alvin Texas, an acupuncturist with offices in Fort Walton Beach and Navarre.
UPDATE: February 12, 5:50 a.m.
Recovery crews have found the bodies of two people they say were aboard a single-engine plane that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico Thursday night.
A witness called 911 around 6:50 p.m. after he saw the plane, a PA-28, go down about 300 yards off the coast near Henderson Beach State Recreation Area near Destin.
Walton County Sheriff's Deputies helping with the search found a female victim around 9 p.m.Thursday. They found the second victim, a man, about 45 minutes later.
Okaloosa County Sheriff's Officials and U.S. Coast Guard crews also found debris from the crash Thursday night.
The plane was registered in Texas and scheduled to land at the Destin Airport.
The Federal Aviation Administration will take over the investigation to find out what caused the crash.
UPDATE: February 11, 10:35 p.m.
The plane involved is being reported as a Piper PA-28. It's a single-engine plane commonly referred to as a Cherokee. More than 32,000 PA-28 aircraft have been made since it went into production in 1961.
Original story February 11, 9:45 p.m.
A small plane has crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Destin, Florida.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office confirms an extensive amount of debris connected to the crash has been located in the waters off the coast of Destin between Henderson Beach State Park and the Walton County line. First responders are on the scene on both land and water. The search for survivors continues.
The first 911 call came in just before 7 p.m. saying a small plane had crashed into the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Henderson Beach State Park. US Coast Guard, Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers along with area firefighters, deputies from OCSO and others are searching.
A plane has been reported as overdue at the Destin airport.