Authorities believe they have solved a mystery that had baffled authorities for months.
A hiker reportedly found the wreckage of a plane of a Zephyrhills pilot that has been missing since last April. A plane said to be the Sonex homebuilt airplane flown by Theodore Weiss was located at the Pruitt Trailhead in Dunellon, according to the Ocala Star-Banner. Skeletal remains have been found at the site, but authorities have yet to determine if they belong to Weiss.
The debris was white with a green stripe, and had the tail number “N229P,” which matches the description of Weiss’ plane, the newspaper said. That’s just a short distance from the Marion County Airport, where Weiss was last seen during the Florida Sonex Association’s Spring Sonex Fest.
Weiss departed the airport alone April 5, and was supposed to arrive in Zephyrhills a couple hours later. However, he never arrived. Officials as well as friends, family and members of the Florida Wing of the Civil Air Patrol began a massive search, trying to locate the plane in the heavy woods in both Marion and Hernando counties.
The plane was a fixed-wing, single-engine plane with two seats, according to aviation tracking site FlightAware. Weiss purchased it in February 2012, and it was originally owned by a Georgia man in 2006. It changed hands a couple times before Weiss bought it.
Sonex planes are self-build kit planes manufactured out of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The planes themselves have a range between 400 and 550 miles, depending on the engine used, according to the Sonex Aircraft website. They can fly between 16,000 and 23,000 feet.
Officials from both the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were expected to arrive on the site Monday.