Fri, Apr 25, 2008
Remains Thought To Be Missing Pilot
four-year-old aviation mystery may have been solved last week.
On April 14, US Navy contractors clearing the former bombing
range on the tiny Puerto Rican island of Vieques found aircraft
debris, including a tail number matching a missing Aero Commander
112 (type shown at right).
The Associated Press reports human remains found nearby will
undergo DNA testing, but investigators are pretty sure they've
found Sheldon H. Prudoff of St. Croix.
Prudoff vanished in his single-engine plane the night of
February 15, 2004 on a flight from San Juan to St. Croix in the
Virgin Islands, where he worked as an oral surgeon. A Coast Guard
search turned up no trace at the time.
Vegetation up to 15 feet thick covers much of the area in which
the contractors were working. NTSB investigator Todd Gunther will
remain on Vieques for several days to study the engine, fuel and
hydraulic systems in the hope of pinpointing the cause of the
The Navy quit using the island as a practice range in 2003, and
is now in the process of clearing ordnance off the island.
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