FAA: Florida pilot says passenger fell from small plane into ocean; rescuers searching

MIAMI (AP) - The Coast Guard has suspended a search of waters southeast of Miami for the evening, after a pilot reported to the Federal Aviation Administration that a passenger fell out of his small plane into the ocean this afternoon.

The FAA says the Piper PA 46 aircraft was flying at about 2,000 feet when the call came in. Coast Guard and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue air and water units were searching an area about eight miles southeast of Tamiami Executive Airport, where the plane safely landed. It's not clear where the flight originated or how many people had been on board.

In a recording of a mayday call on the website LiveATC.Net, the unidentified pilot tells an air traffic controller that the passenger opened the plane's back door and fell out and that the door was ajar.

The Coast Guard and fire rescue officials say they have not confirmed whether the pilot's emergency call was legitimate. The Miami-Dade Police Department has sent homicide detectives to the airport to further investigate.

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