MIAMI -- A man found dead Friday in a golf course lake was a passenger on a small plane that plowed into the building housing the Federal Reserve Bank, killing the pilot, police said.
Medical examiners identified the two men who were aboard the prototype Four Winds 192 that crashed Thursday night but did not immediately release their identities. Their employer, an airplane sales company, identified them as a flight instructor and sales manager.
The plane slammed into the northeast side of the bank branch as officials there held a holiday party. No one inside the one-story, 280,000-square-foot building was injured. The building had some broken windows but no structural damage.
Authorities called the crash an accident.
Jeff Rahm, president of Four Winds Aircraft in New Smyrna Beach, said Friday that two of the company's employees were killed.
"We have no answers," Rahm said. "There was an inflight engine fire and that's all we're able to tell at this time. ... The plane itself was fine, but what engine problems they had, we don't know."
He identified the victims as pilot Rick Grannis, a salesman and instructor at the company, and sales manager Garry Williams.
Grannis and Williams flew to Marathon Airport on Thursday afternoon to attend a Christmas party of the Young Eagles flying club and show the prototype plane to club members, club president Ed Waldorf said.
The building the plane crashed into houses the Miami bureau of The Associated Press as well as the reserve bank branch, which employs 250 people.
The aircraft was flying at 5,500 feet when it made a sharp, sudden turn to the southeast for an unknown reason and crashed, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Alan Yurman said. The pilot had not reported any problems and witnesses did not see any fire from the engine, Yurman said.
The Four Winds 192 is described on the company's Web site as a four-seat, single turboprop aircraft with a range of 1,000 miles.
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