NEW YORK – A Japanese pilot trying to accrue flight hours was killed when she crashed off Florida’s east coast on Tuesday night, authorities announced Thursday.
Mihoko Tabata, 38, was flying alone in a single-engine Cessna off New Smyrna Beach in thick fog when she told air traffic control she was having trouble flying and wanted to find the nearest airport, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department.
A Federal Aviation Administration database lists her address as Yao, Osaka Prefecture.
Tabata was licensed as a commercial pilot but had not received clearance from the facility that owned the plane to fly solo, according to the plane’s owner, Neil Ramphal. She had also been told by an instructor who spotted her on the tarmac not to take off again because of the weather, Ramphal said.