INDIAN RIVER COUNTY – A 21-year-old student pilot and her 24-year-old brother were killed Thursday when their plane crashed near Blue Cypress Lake in western Indian River County, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday morning.
The siblings and their parents were visiting from Scotland and staying in Merritt Island.
The pilot, identified as Carly Beattie and her brother, Daniel Beattie, chartered a Cessna 152 from Space Coast Aviation at about 10 a.m. Thursday for what was supposed to be a three-hour flight.
At 8 p.m., the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office received a report of the overdue plane.
The Space Coast Aviation authorities implemented their overdue flight protocol and exhausted all plausible scenarios before notifying law enforcement, the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office said.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office classified the case as an “at-risk missing persons” investigation.
Due to cell phone tower analysis by BCSO Agent Hart, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office was able to pinpoint the cell phone tower where the victim’s cell phone was receiving a signal.
It was determined that the cell phone was receiving a signal in a wooded area near Yeehaw Junction and Blue Cypress Lake in Indian River County.
With the assistance of Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, the airplane was located where it had crashed in a wooded area within two miles from the cell phone tower.
Both pilot and passenger were found deceased. The family notification was made by Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and a coordinated effort was underway to provide support to the victims’ family.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office and the NTSB will be conducting the crash site follow up investigation.