Wreckage of missing plane, body of pilot discovered near Indian River

The National Transportation Safety Board has released new information on a small plane that crashed before arrival at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville on Wednesday afternoon. An air safety safety investigator with the NTSB confirmed in a news conference on Thursday that debris found in the Indian River is that of the plane which disappeared during inclement weather.

At 4:15 p.m.,the tower received a distress call from the pilot of a Cessna 310, inbound from Orlando Executive Airport. The pilot missed his first approach to the landing strip and circled back. The plane was banking over the Indian River when the tower reported the plane dropping from an altitude of 1,100 feet down to 300 feet, in a matter of seconds. The plane then disappeared from radar.

The pilot was fatally injured and the aircraft destroyed by impact forces. The nose piece and other small bits of debris from the plane were recovered, along with the pilot's body. The NTSB said it is too early to know the cause of the crash, because most of the plane is still underwater, and they have yet to review all of the flight data.

The wreckage field is in the Indian River, two miles from the airport. The pilot's identity has not been released by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office. Investigators will be back out in the river Friday morning at 8 a.m. and attempt to recover the rest of the plane.