YULEE, Fla. – The pilot of a single-engine plane died following a crash Monday morning.
Nassau County Undersheriff George Lueders says the crash happened around 10:30 a.m. at 85027 Flying A. Ranch road in a marshy area near Lofton Creek. 65-year-old Charley Yeagle died in the crash.
"It's just tragic. A local guy. It's terrible," said Joey Stephens who knew of Yeagle for about 20 years.
"He's a very good pilot," he said.
"According to a witness, upon take off, it appears the aircraft lost power and it crashed into the marsh," Lueders said.
The crash happened about 500 yards from the end of a private, grassy runway that is only used by a few planes.
Emergency crews had some problems getting to the plane, but someone on property took first responders out on a boat to the plane.
Lueders said Yeagle was an experienced pilot but wasn't sure of Yeagle's flight plan or where he was headed. Lueders was also not aware of if Yeagle was able to radio in anything like signs of distress.
"It was a very nice swift. He's owned it for 30 years, so he's had some time in it," said acquaintance Johnathan Arnett.
Yeagle was a lifelong pilot and a flight instructor.
Yeagle was the only person inside the plane. No one on the ground was hurt.
NTSB and FAA are investigating.