Pilot killed after plane drops from radar, crashes in Florida, officials say

The wreckage of a small plane was found Tuesday evening in Paynes Prairie State Park, hours after the plane lost radar contact with local control towers, the Alachua County Sheriff's Office said.

One person was found dead at the crash site, officials said. The person's name was not immediately released.

According to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, both the Gainesville and Jacksonvile flight towers reported losing contact with a single-engine plane around 2 p.m. on Tuesday. At the same time, residents in Micanopy, a small town south of Gainesville, reported hearing a plane appearing to lose altitude, followed by a "loud boom sound," the sheriff's office said.

Around 5:15 p.m. the plane wreckage was found within a wooded area inside Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, which sits between Gainesville and Micanopy.

The FAA described the plane as a single-engine Piper PA-28. One person was aboard the plane – and died at the scene. 

Both the FAA and NTSB will investigate the crash.