Plane remains in marshy area in Yulee

Published On: Aug 06 2014 11:46:33 AM EDT
Updated On: Jul 29 2014 08:08:20 PM EDT

Friends say the pilot was experienced and had been flying for much of his life. Now investigators are trying to learn why his last flight ended in a crash. 65-year-old Charlie Yeagle died when his single-engine plane went down shortly after taking off from the in Yulee yesterday morning.

YULEE, Fla. -

A small plane that crashed Monday morning in Yulee, killing its 65-year-old pilot, remains in the marshy area where it went down, and the Federal Aviation Administration has sent an Orlando-based crew to investigate.

Charlie Yeagle had just taken off from Flying-A-Ranch Airport, a private airport in the 85000 block of Miner Road, when there was some kind of a problem, according to the Nassau County Sheriff's Office.

A witness told deputies that after taking off, it appeared the plane lost power before crashing.

The plane, a 125 Swift, crashed into marsh about 500 yards from the end of the runway. The site is only accessible by boat.

Undersheriff George Lueders said deputies initially had trouble getting to the plane.

"Luckily, a man here that had a boat that he took the first responding officer out there and they were able to get through the marsh to the plane to check on the condition of the pilot," Lueders said.

The FAA said it is investigating and that the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the crash's probable cause.

Yeagle, a veteran pilot, lived with his wife on the private property where the airport is located. The private airport has been there for nearly 40 years and is owned by a family Yeagle was friends with.

Friends said investigators are looking into the possibility that Yeagle had a medical issue, causing the crash.

It's unclear when the plane will be removed.

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