Missing pilot was excited to fly family before fatal plane crash
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Christian Kath
A pilot in the US had been excited to take his family on a flight before their tragic crash.
On Saturday (3 December), a plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico shortly after taking off from Venice Municipal Airport in Florida, at around 7.30pm.
The wreckage of the rented Piper Cherokee aircraft was discovered about a third of a mile offshore, and on Tuesday (6 December), police identified the victims as pilot Christian Kath, 42, his wife Misty Kath, 43, and their daughter Lily, 12.
The tragic crash came months after Christian shared his excitement about taking his family out on a flight.
In his last Facebook post in March, he said: "I flew solo for the first time today! Felt so proud to finally achieve something I've been wanting to do since I was 8 years old.
"Started my lessons in late December and am about half way though my private pilot license now.
"Thanks for putting up with my early morning lessons and late night studying Misty Kath; it will all feel worth while when we can fly to the Keys for a weekend away with Lily and Harper soon.
"Feel lucky to live and be learning to fly in such a beautiful part of the world!"
The couple's other daughter - Harper - had been at a sleepover on the night of the crash, according to Christian's father, Chris.
"She was trying to text and call her mum and sister in the morning [asking] when were they coming to pick her up," he told 7 News.
"I want Christian to also be remembered for his depth of character as well as his loving character. He really will be missed. The world will be a poorer place for not having Christian."
On Sunday (4 December), both the bodies of Misty and Lily were recovered, Venice Police said. The official stated that Misty had been found by boaters about 2.5 miles off Venice Beach, and Lily was retrieved from the wreck by divers.
And in their latest update yesterday (Wednesday 7 December), Venice Police Department said they had called off the search for Christian.
The force said: "Divers have completed search and recovery operations at the site of Saturday night's small plane crash off the coast of Venice, approximately 1/3 of a mile west offshore.
"After consultation with the U.S. Coast Guard, the search for the missing male pilot, Christian Kath, has been discontinued at this time.
"The possible parameters of the search area exceed over 2,000 square nautical miles. Family members have been notified.
"Boaters from Sarasota Bay south to Gasparilla are reminded to be aware of the possibility of sighting remains or small aircraft debris.
"Boaters who observe anything should immediately contact the Coast Guard using marine radio on channel 16."