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Victim of fatal Bonita Springs plane crash identified

Posted at 10:11 AM, Jan 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-24 18:18:07-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Authorities have released the identity of the man who died in a small plane crash near Bonita Springs on Monday.

According to the Lee County Sheriff's Office, 68-year-old Daniel Bernath was the pilot of the plane when it crashed, and died at the scene.

Bernath's plane crashed into a wooded area near the Bonita National Golf Course while flying from Page Field in Fort Myers to Everglades City.

Control tower audio obtained by Fox 4 on Tuesday revealed confusion between Bernath and control tower staff just before the flight.

Bernath was involved in a previous plane crash in Oregon in 2013, in which the NTSB cites "inadequate preflight fuel planning and poor decision making" by the pilot, according to a report.

Bernath was a former lawyer who was disbarred by the State of California in 2016.