Not exactly the kind of news you want to air live on TV… just sayin’. A news helicopter went to cover a small airplane crash and was treated to a horrific sight. A very large alligator evidently decided to dine on the pilot after he died in the crash. At least, I hope he was dead before he became the main course for this prehistoric beast. This occurred in the Florida Everglades. A view from Sky 10 showed a man’s body in the swamp next to the wreckage. An alligator was wading next to the body that is believed to be of student pilot Mark Ukaere. Ukaere’s roommate said he knew something was wrong when Mark didn’t make it to church on Sunday. “All he does is go to his college, (come) back home (and) on Sundays, church. That’s all,” Patrick Shedrack said.
The plane was a single-engine Cessna 152. It went down in a swampy area seven miles west of Homestead, Florida, according to information released by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). There was only one person on board… the pilot. At least that is something to be grateful for here, although I grieve for that poor guy. I’m sure the crew on WPLG’s helicopter was shocked when they saw the alligator chowing down on the pilot. It’s what alligators do.
The Miami-Dade police reported that the crash scene was located at approximately 9:30 pm on Wednesday of this week. The plane was registered to Air Christian Inc. which is located in Miami. It’s being noted that this same plane had to make an emergency landing on a highway back in December of 2015. It evidently had mechanical issues and this time it cost someone his life. It’s unknown if this is the same pilot from that incident.
The logo on the side of the wrecked plane was from Dean International Flight Training & Aircraft Rentals. The flight school owner is Robert Dean. He said the pilot took off on an unauthorized flight on Saturday at 8:40 pm. I’m not sure what that has to do with the crash on Wednesday though. Dean called a bunch of people and places looking for the pilot and the plane. He finally contacted the FBI Wednesday evening.
Dean claims that the pilot may have suffered from spatial disorientation while flying in the pitch darkness over the Everglades. “Every time anybody flies in the evening, they must fly with another pilot,” Dean said. Why the heck would you be flying out there at night? Maybe drug running? Just a thought. Although it looks like the guy may have been a Christian, so maybe not. But if not that, then why at night over an alligator-infested swamp?
FAA and National Transportation Safety Board investigators arrived at the scene Thursday morning and they are investigating the incident. Something is off about this story. I’m sad the young man died like this, but there sure are a lot of unanswered questions here.