SUBURBAN BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. - UPDATE: A heli crane was able to recover most of the plane wreckage Tuesday and the bodies of the two victims, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Names of the victims in Sunday's crash have still not been released.
The data module inside the single engine aircraft was located and is considered to be a helpful piece to figure out what happened.
NTSB also said it was found that the parachute inside the aircraft was not used.
Reported by Ryan Calhoun/NewsChannel 5
Today, authorities will try to find the bodies of the pilot and passenger of a crashed single-engine plane half-buried in muck in the middle of a swampy wildlife refuge.
They believe the victims are still in the 2008 Cirrus SR-22.
Dennis Diaz, investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, and other investigators headed out to the site - about 9 miles north and 3 miles east of a makeshift command center - around 9:30 a.m. today.
At about noon, they will send a helicopter equipped with a sling to recover the wreckage.
"The parts aren't small enough to pick out with an airboat, and we can't drive a crane out there," Diaz said this morning. "So this is our only option."
He said the priority is recovering the bodies, which are believed to still be inside the plane's wreckage, so the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner's Office can determine the exact cause of death.
In that area, there is about a foot of water on top of the mud, which can be 12 to 17 feet deep, officials said.
On Monday, federal authorities confirmed that the plane was owned by a company registered in Central Florida. It was operated and managed by Air Orlando, a flight school based at Orlando Executive Airport.
Air Orlando's manager, John Painter, said the company pilot was highly experienced and was not on a training flight. The identities of the pilot and passenger have not been released.
Painter said the pilot was in South Florida conducting advanced training in helicopter flying and was on his way back to Orlando when the crash occurred.
"We're dumbfounded," Painter said by telephone Monday, adding that the aircraft was in "great shape" and that the pilot was a professional. "We were all very close to the pilot, so it's a big loss."
The crash occurred at 5:46 p.m. Sunday at the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge west of Boynton Beach. The site is 12 miles southwest of Palm Beach International Airport, investigators said.
Diaz said the investigation, which could take up to three days, will likely be difficult because it is in a remote area.
Although the SR-22 does not have a black box, information might be gathered from computer systems, Diaz said.
The NTSB will study the pilot's history, weather, radar data and other factors.
Although the plane is operated by Air Orlando, it is registered to Mann Aviation LLC in Seminole County, which lists about 13 private aircraft on its roster. Calls to the company's registered agent, Jeffrey Mann, were not immediately returned.
Staff writers Julius Whigham and Cynthia Roldan contributed to this story.
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