Pilot Appears to Have Attempted to Fake His Death

An Indianapolis money manager, faced with financial setbacks and a pending divorce, might have tried to fake his death after reporting an inflight emergency to ATC and parachuting from his Piper PA46 over Alabama. The airplane crashed more than 200 miles away, near Milton, Florida. Alabama local authorities say a man identified as 38-year-old pilot Marcus Schrenker told them he had been in a boating accident and asked to be driven to a motel. He checked in under a false name and later disappeared. Military jets, scrambled to intercept the Piper after the last radio contact from Schrenker, reported its door was open and its cabin dark. The airplane crashed in a marsh at about 9:15 Central Time, Sunday night-reportedly about 100 yards from an occupied house. Schrenker was subsequently arrested at a Florida campsite, where he had apparently attempted suicide by slashing his left wrist. Expected to survive, he faces numerous criminal charges.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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