UPDATED at 9:20 p.m. on Oct. 14, 2018
WESTHAMPTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The Coast Guard ended its search for two missing airplane passengers after two bodies were discovered Sunday afternoon.
Divers located the bodies after finding the wreckage of the Piper PA-34 aircraft in about 20 feet of water south of Quogue.
The bodies were discovered hours after the pilot’s body was found. The New York State Police confirmed the identity of the pilot as 41-year-old Munidat “Raj” Persaud of Waterbury, Connecticut. He was also the owner of the plane. The identities of the two passengers were not immediately released.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and families of the people who were aboard the plane,” said Capt. Kevin Reed, commander Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound. “We are grateful to the emergency responders who assisted in the search efforts.”
The FAA said the South Carolina-bound plane took off Saturday morning from Danbury Municipal Airport in Connecticut and went down three miles south-southeast of Francis S. Gabreski Airport shortly before noon.
Tim Carbone was working at the nearby Oceanfront Surf Club at the time, and said he thought it was a stunt plane.
“I was looking to see if I could find the plane and I couldn’t see it, and then ‘phoom,’ it was done,” he said. “It was like the engine was stopped immediately.”
A debris field and oil sheen was eventually located near the reported crash site. The New York Air National Guard and multiple local police and fire departments assisted in the search for the other two passengers.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are working to determine the probable cause of the accident.