Pilots Pay Tribute to Flight School Student Found Dead

Pilots are paying tribute to a flight school student found dead next to a mangled plane in the Everglades.

The student pilot, identified as 29-year-old Mark Ukaere, went on an unauthorized flight and crashed in the murky waters, officials said. It was later revealed that the plane went missing from the Dean International Flight School last week, but wasn't reported missing until four days later.

On Saturday, pilots honored Ukaere right outside the Dean International Flight School.

"We were aware it was gone for the holiday, but because of the holiday and things like that it was possible he was stuck in Gainesville," said flight school owner Robert Dean.

Dean says the missing plane went unreported for four days because it's not uncommon for students to take cross country trips for two or three days at a time.

"He was supposed to have sent a text," he said. "All students know to fly at night they must send text and have written approval which he did not do."

Flowers were and candles were lit beside Ukaere's photo Saturday-- a week after he took off.

"What else can I say? Real good guy. Great sense of humor," said Patrick Shedrack, Ukaere's roommate.

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