“I don’t want to believe that.”
When a small plane crashed July 1 in the gator-invested Florida Everglades, what happened next was bound to occur.
“A gator appears to be chewing on a body next to the wreckage,” WPLG managing editor Peter Burke tweetedas the station’s helicopter saw the sight from overhead.
Our chopper is above the scene of a wrecked plane in the Everglades. A gator appears to be chewing on a body next to the wreckage.
— Pete Burke (@PeteBurke) July 6, 2017
The wreckage of the Cessna 152 was discovered four days after the plane was taken for an unauthorized flight by student pilot Mark Ukaere.
“Every time anybody flies in the evening, they must fly with another pilot,” said Robert Dean, owner of Dean International Flight Training & Aircraft Rentals.
Ukaere was already a licensed pilot, but was trying to earn advanced certifications.
Although no official cause of the crash has been announced, Dean said he believed the pilot suffered from spatial disorientation while flying in the dark.
“It’s completely pitch dark there. You really don’t know if you are right-side up or upside down,” Dean said. “The plane just spirals down and crashes straight in.”
Ukaere’s roommate said he feared the worst when Ukaere did not come home.
“I don’t want to believe that this thing has happened,” Patrick Shedrack said. “I don’t want to believe that.”
Shedrack said he knew something was wrong when Ukaere did not attend church on Sunday.
“All he does is go to his college, (come) back home (and) on Sundays, church. That’s all,” Shedrack said.
Dean held a memorial service for Ukaere on Saturday, and said he hoped his other students learned a lesson from Ukaere’s fate.
“So that also all the students know how something like this can be so deadly,” he said.
The Florida Everglades is home to more than 200,000 alligators.
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Source: Western Journalism