BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Source: BSO) — Broward Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit detectives have released the names of two men who died after their small plane crashed off the Dania Beach coast Saturday morning.
Frederick Gautzsch, Jr., 73, of Boca Raton and Robert Chartrand, 66, of LaSalle, Quebec left Pompano Beach Airpark the morning of September 3 in a single-engine Cessna, rented from Paul Kramer’s Learn to Fly Center. Though both men were pilots, Gautzsch was at the controls as the pair headed to Ocean Reef Club’s Private Airport in Key Largo. Sometime just before 10 a.m., the four-seater Cessna crashed off the coast in the Atlantic Ocean, about one mile north of the Dania Beach Pier, and just east of the south runway at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) at Dania Beach.
Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue crews stationed at FLL received the call at 9:57 a.m. from the air traffic control tower advising of the downed plane. A multi-agency search was launched with Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue, BSO Air Rescue, BSO Marine Units, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue’s fireboat, Hollywood Fire Rescue, U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. BSO Air Rescue spotted an oil slick and small debris field about 200 yards offshore. The BSO flight crew spotted the sunken plane in about 20 feet of water. As the search expanded, the two victims were located floating in the ocean, about 200 yards north of the crash site. Both victims were killed on impact.
The Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted autopsies on the victims and will rule on the cause and manner of death. The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are conducting their respective investigations into the cause of the crash.