Small plane crashes off coast of North Captiva

NORTH CAPTIVA, FL (WINK) -- The Lee County Sheriff's Office confirmed to WINK News that a small plane has crashed in to the water off the coast of North Captiva.

Deputies say the call came in just before 6p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities have not confirmed how many people were on board the plane and divers are in the water trying to find any survivors.

The FAA tells WINK News, the flight originally departed the Salty Approach Airport, and landed safely at Page Field. It departed from Page Field at approximately 5:40 p.m. for the return trip to the Salty Approach Airport.

The airport runway is grass and witnesses who spoke to WINK News believe the wet weather had something to do with the crash.

"This is preliminary information about a Piper PA-32 aircraft that went into the water while on approach to Salty Approach Airport on Captiva Island at about 5:50 pm today. Local authorities report that the aircraft is about 100 feet off the end of the runway," said Kathleen Bergen with the FAA.

One man knows the pilot of the crashed plane and says the grass runway is sometimes hard to navigate.

"The runway is grass and when it wet a lot of times the wheels don't have enough friction to land a plane and to control if. If you are coming in too fast you will lose control of the airplane and it doesn't stop fast enough," said Mike Farinacci.

"It looks like he hit that wooden piece right there and may have caused him to do a few things," said Farinacci.



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