Leonard W. McGarity, Jr., identified as pilot of plane that crashed in Wellington

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has identified the pilot who died Monday when his aircraft crashed in Wellington.

It says 58-year-old Leonard W. McGarity, Jr., was flying a custom-style plane from his home in the Aero Club when it crashed into a golf course pond near Greenbriar Boulevard and Aero Club Road.

McGarity was known to his friends as Link. Neighbors say he was a veteran military pilot and had extensive experience flying with American Airlines.

An NTSB investigator arrived on the scene Tuesday afternoon. He said the plane crashed nose down into the water and that something caused the pilot to lose control and gave him very little time to recover.

"We haven't found any definite answers to what might have happened so right now I'm looking at everything. I'm looking at the aircraft, I'm looking at the engine, said NTSB Investigator Eric Alleyne.

The NTSB says it will take between six months and a year to determine the exact cause of the crash.

NewsChannel 5's Christina Noce contributed to this report.
 

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