February 01, Marathon, Fla. / Piper Cherokee Six


At about 19:51 eastern time, a Piper PA-32-300 crashed into Florida Bay about 12.7 nautical miles northeast of Marathon, killing the pilot and aerial observer. The flight was operating as an intercept training flight with a Coast Guard HU-25 Falcon Jet. The pilot of the Cherokee Six radioed the commander of the Falcon that it was getting a bit hazy. As the airplanes maneuvered to get separation for another intercept, the pilot of the Cherokee Six said he had entered IMC. The commander of the Falcon advised they were well clear of the area, but no further radio contact was made. Radar data showed the aircraft turning left and right without maintaining any constant heading. The NTSB report said the pilot of the Cherokee Six held a private certificate but did not indicate if he was instrument rated.


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