One Dead In Plane Crash Off Puerto Rico

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A unidentified relative of a passenger from a small plane that crashed Sunday into the Atlantic Ocean, points toward the area believed to be the crash site, as search operations are under way off the northwestern city of Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, Monday, Feb. 9, 2009. The U.S. Coast Guard and police searched for survivors from the plane crash, but hopes dimmed Monday as hours passed without any sign of the pilot or the five passengers. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)
A unidentified relative of a passenger from a small plane that crashed Sunday into the Atlantic Ocean, points toward the area believed to be the crash site, as search operations are under way off the northwestern city of Quebradillas, Puerto Rico, Monday, Feb. 9, 2009. The U.S. Coast Guard and police searched for survivors from the plane crash, but hopes dimmed Monday as hours passed without any sign of the pilot or the five passengers. (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A small plane crashed into the sea early Sunday off an outlying Puerto Rican island and the single occupant was killed, authorities said.

The twin-engine plane was headed from the tiny island of Culebra to a regional airport on Puerto Rico shortly after daybreak when it went down, statement said.

The pilot's body was recovered by a police maritime unit that located a small debris field of fuselage. Police identified the pilot as Leonis Viouf, a 36-year-old resident of the central Puerto Rican town of Caguas.

The plane belonged to Air Flamenco, and Viouf worked for the tiny carrier, police said.

Based in Puerto Rico's capital of San Juan, Air Flamenco flies scheduled routes within the U.S. territory as well as charter flights to the Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic and St. Maarten, according to its website. Phone calls to Air Flamenco went unanswered Sunday.

The make of the plane was not immediately disclosed by authorities.

Federal aviation authorities were investigating the cause of the crash.

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