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OFF APOLLO BEACH, Fla. - The pilot of the helicopter that crashed into the waters off Apollo Beach has been identified asLarryWard of Tampa. Shortly after theHillsborough County Sheriff's diverswere back outat the crash site Saturday morning,crews recovered Ward's remains.

Hillsborough Sheriff spokesperson Larry McKinnon saysthe family of Mr. Ward has been notified. NTSB is handling the case and will continue the investigationto determine the cause of the crash.

The helicopter was seen crashing on Friday afternoon just after 3 pm in the shallow waters of Tampa Bay just off Apollo Beach Florida, near Beer Can Island. The helicopter left Tampa Bay Aviation out of Cleawater yesterday afternoon.

FAA has been on site assisting HCSO. National Traffic Safety Board has been notified and will determine the cause of the crash once the aircraft has been recovered.

Friday evening, crews changed gears from a search and rescue mission to recovery, in their search for a pilot who authorities said crashed a helicopter into the bay, near Beer Can Island.

Friday evening, crews changed gears from a search and rescue mission to recovery, in their search for a pilot who authorities said crashed a helicopter into the bay, near Beer Can Island.

Friday evening, crews changed gears from a search and rescue mission to recovery, in their search for a pilot who authorities said crashed a helicopter into the bay, near Beer Can Island.Friday evening, crews changed gears from a search and rescue mission to recovery, in their search for a pilot who authorities said crashed a helicopter into the bay, near Beer Can Island.Friday evening, crews changed gears from a search and rescue mission to recovery, in their search for a pilot who authorities said crashed a helicopter into the bay, near Beer Can Island.Friday evening, crews changed gears from a search and rescue mission to recovery, in their search for a pilot who authorities said crashed a helicopter into the bay, near Beer Can Island.

Authorities suspended the search efforts Friday night and are set to continue Saturday morning for the pilot and additional wreckage from the helicopter.

The chopper went down about 200 yards off shore, where it broke apart in the water. Authorities received 911 calls just after 3 p.m. after people who live in the Bright Bay Court area saw it go down.

"There was a loud pop. And when it popped, I saw the blade from the helicopter spiraling down to the ground. And the helicopter was heading towards the water," said retired Tampa police officer, Jeff Kritz.

"It flipped over, rolled sideways, and a huge plunge with crazy, mashing, metal noise. It was not pretty," said neighbor, Matthew Scull.

Multiple agencies responded to the crash, including Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Tampa Fire Rescue. They searched for hours about a half mile radius from the crash site, but could not find the pilot.

The identity of the pilot has not been released, but Tampa Bay Aviation (which rents helicopters and planes) called 10 News to report that one of their choppers was missing.

Officials with the NTSB are also expected at the site Saturday.

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