A search is underway for the body of an Australian man who vanished when the plane he was flying crashed off the coast of Florida, killing his wife and daughter.
Christian Kath, 42, was on board the small plane with his wife Misty, 43, and their daughter, Lily, 12, when it went down off the coast of Venice, in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday (local time). Mr Kath only began flying solo this year, he said on Facebook.
The family, from St Petersburg, Florida, but originally from Queensland, were flying from St Petersburg south to nearby Venice for dinner when they crashed, it's been reported. The bodies of Ms Kath and the 12-year-old girl were recovered, local police confirmed on Monday. However, divers have been unable to locate the missing 42-year-old male pilot, Venice Police Department said.
The family hired the plane on Saturday (local time), and when it wasn't returned to Venice Municipal Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration reported it to police, Venice Police Department confirmed. An investigation was initiated on Sunday morning, and not long after the body of one victim was found.
The couple's other daughter, 10, was at a sleepover the night of the crash, and was not on board the plane, The Courier Mail reported. The family were reportedly planning on returning to Australia soon after five years in the US.
In an update on Wednesday, Venice Police Department confirmed the "search area for the missing pilot in the Gulf has been expanded area-wise, but assets have been scaled back".
Aussie dad's haunting Facebook post
Mr Kath made a Facebook post in March this year, celebrating his first solo flight.
"I flew solo for the first time today! Felt so proud to finally achieve something I’ve been wanting to do since I was 8 years old," he said.
"Started my lessons in late December and am about halfway through my private pilot license now. Thanks for putting up with my early morning lessons and late-night studying Misty Kath. it will all feel worthwhile when we can fly to the Keys for a weekend away with Lily and Harper soon.
"Feel lucky to live and be learning to fly in such a beautiful part of the world."
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