An alligator ate 29-year-old Mark Ukaere -- who was in a plane crash in Florida’s Everglades. A news helicopter that was flying over where the plane went down captured video of the reptile eating Ukaere’s body. A single-engine Cessna 152 was found by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue in a swampy area around 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to Argemis Colome, a detective with Miami-Dade police.

Peter Burke, the managing editor of news station WPLG, said an alligator seen in the footage is wading close to the plane and appears to be “chewing” the body next to the wreckage.

Flight school reported plane missing four days later

Air Christian, Inc. and Robert Dean own the Cessna. Dean also owns International Flight Training. He said the pilot, Ukaere, allegedly took the plane on an unauthorized solo flight at 8:40 p.m. on July 1. Prior to the crash site and plane being found Wednesday night, Dean reported to the FBI what occurred.

Ukaere was alone in the plane discovered near Homestead, FL, in alligator-infested swamp waters. The National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), as well as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), have launched an investigation.

The pilot-victim was licensed and was working toward attaining advanced certification, according to his roommates and WSVN.

Ukaere was last seen leaving Miami Executive Airport on Saturday night. When he didn’t show up for church on July 2, his roommates said they were afraid that he was the pilot who died in the crash. Though the plane was missing on Saturday, according to NBC 6, four days later Dean reported it missing.

Friend contends pilot’s conduct violated flight school protocol

Faridah Abubakar, identified by Local 10 News as the pilot’s ex-girlfriend, said she doesn’t understand and that it was out of character for her former boyfriend to do anything “like that.” She said she wonders why Ukaere would act against the flight school’s rules by flying alone at night.

The events shocked Abubakar, since it was so unlike her former boyfriend.

Dean said that none of Ukaere’s family members or his roommates informed him that Ukaere was missing. He also said that it is not uncommon for flight school students to take a “few days’ trip.” It was on Monday or Tuesday, he said, that he began looking for Ukaere’s location. On Wednesday he formally reported to law enforcement and aviation authorities what happened.

He suspects that Ukaere flew the plane at night over the Everglades after suffering spatial disorientation. Moe Shinawi is a student pilot and one of Ukaere’s friends. He said that what Ukaere did was wrong and that he violated the school’s protocol by taking a night flight and not informing the flight school.

Before the Cessna crashed in the swampy Everglades Ukaere sent selfies from the cockpit to Mercy Akinyemi, his girlfriend who lives in New Jersey. She said she cautioned him that it was getting dark outside. She described herself as feeling confused and devastated. According to her, Ukaere’s flight instructor was a no-show, which is why he told her that he was flying solo.