'Rick did everything he possibly could to save himself and his grandson'
FLORENCE, Ore. - A sightseeing flight turned tragic on Father's Day when a small plane crashed into the ocean.
Pilot Richard Munger, 69, of Florence died.
His 15-year-old grandson Benjamin Dressler remains missing.
"I know in my own heart that Rick did everything he possibly could to save himself and his grandson and the airplane, too," said Steve Saubert, a volunteer at the Florence Municipal Airport.
Saubert were on their way back from a Sunday morning flight.
"Great person," Saubert said of Munger. "You know he's a pharmacist, and worked hard, helped a lot of people, and we're going to miss him."
Saubert said Munger was s an experienced pilot, often traveling cross-country in his small, single engine airplane.
Witnesses on the beach near the North Jetty in Florence told first responders they heard the engine pop before the plane crashed into the water.
U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Jim Greenlief said lifeboats were on scene with 15 minutes.
"The helicopter arrived shortly thereafter and started the search in the same way, and they were the ones that spotted the first victim," he said.
Greenlief said Munger was pronounced dead at the scene.
As of late Sunday, the search efforts had been exhuasted and the Coast Guard suspended the search.
"It's really heartbreaking here for us at the station," Greenlief said. "But we did what we were trained to do, and we would do it again if the call was there."
All that remains on the beach from Sunday's response are tracks in the sand. The FAA and NTSB are now in charge of the investigation.