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Boca Raton pilot in crash that killed 2 was avoiding storm, NTSB says

Posted: 8:51 AM, Sep 14, 2016
Updated: 2016-09-14 13:20:31Z

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A federal report says the pilot of a small plane that crashed off Florida's coast, killing both people aboard, was trying to avoid a thunderstorm moments before it went down in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Sun Sentinel reports that the National Transportation Safety Board found that air controllers told 73-year-old pilot Frederick Gautzsch of Boca Raton to fly three miles offshore to avoid the storm.

Gautzsch acknowledged that and then radioed that he was turning the Cessna 172 just before the Sept. 3 crash off the Hollywood coast.

Gautzsch and 66-year-old Robert Chartrand of Quebec, Canada were killed. The wreckage was found about two miles offshore in about 15 feet of water. The pair had been heading to Ocean Reef Club airport in Key Largo from Pompano Beach Airpark.