Pilot Asked Air Traffic Control to Tell His Parents He Loved Them Before Fatal Crash: Report

The pilot reported a “flight control malfunction” shortly before the aircraft went down in a wooded area, according to the NTSB

<p>Getty</p> A small plane that is not the same model as the plane that crashed on Tuesday..


A small plane that is not the same model as the plane that crashed on Tuesday..

A new report is revealing the final words of a pilot who died in a plane crash in Florida on Tuesday.

The single-engine Piper PA-28 crashed near Micanopy around 2 p.m. local time Tuesday afternoon, according to statements from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, obtained by PEOPLE.

The pilot, who was the only person on board, reported a “flight control malfunction” shortly before the aircraft went down in a wooded area, the NTSB said.

Just before losing all communication, the pilot asked the air traffic controller to tell his parents that he loved them, according to PBS affiliate WUFT, which obtained a recording of radio traffic from the incident.

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The plane’s previous owner, David Nicholls, said the aircraft was sold on Oct. 31 to 21-year-old Adrien James Valentine, of Melrose, who got his pilot’s license in May 2021, according to WUFT. However, authorities have not publicly confirmed the pilot’s identity.

Visibility was poor at the time of the crash due to cloudy and rainy conditions, according to a news release from the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office.

The plane climbed as high as 6,800 feet and made multiple sharp turns before crashing at about 300 mph, WUFT reported.

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Multiple residents in Micanopy reported “hearing a plane losing altitude and then a loud boom sound” in calls to the local Combined Communications Center, ACSO said.

The sheriff's office said that at the same time, the CCC began receiving calls from the Jacksonville and Gainesville air traffic control towers about “losing radar contact with a plane on the radar screen over Paynes Prairie State Park.”

<p>Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty</p> Paynes Prairie State Park

Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty

Paynes Prairie State Park

Crews located the plane’s wreckage in Paynes Prairie State Park around 5:15 p.m. local time, authorities said. The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ramon Senorans, airfield manager at the Kissimmee airport, said the plane took off at 12:45 p.m. local time Tuesday under “visual flight rules,” which require pilots to go no higher than 1,000 feet above ground level while avoiding clouds, according to WUFT.

The flight began about three minutes after the pilot was told to “stand by a minute or two” while the weather cleared, per the report.

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During the flight, the pilot reportedly informed an air traffic controller that he was “losing altitude” and feared he could not hold his altitude “without descending.”

Both the FAA and NTSB are investigating the deadly crash, according to the statements obtained by PEOPLE. A preliminary report will be available within 30 days, and a final report will be published in one to two years.

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Read the original article on People.