SPRING HILL, Fla. (AP) – A single-engine plane has crashed along Florida’s Gulf Coast, killing a young Chicago area pilot.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office says a witness saw the ultralight aircraft crash Friday night in a wooded area around Spring Hill.

The pilot was found on a road near the crash site.

The sheriff’s office identified the pilot as 23-year-old Scott Tezak of Minooka, Ill. He had been flying the aircraft back to Illinois when he crashed.

tezak Area Pilot Dies When Plane Crashes In Florida

Scott Tezak (Facebook)

Tezak was a flight instructor based out of the Morris Municipal Airport for more than three years, the flight school Blue Sky Aero told CBS 2 News.

Mike Bernier, a fellow flight instructor, praised his colleague for his dedication to the field.

“Aviation is in his blood,” he told reporter Suzanne Le Mignot. “It’s the only thing that was ever in Scott’s future, the only thing that he could do in life that he could be absolutely perfect at was aviation.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating.

Bernier says he looks forward to answers.

“Scott was a well-rounded aviator, and I’m sure he made the right decisions in his last moments,” he said.

Spring Hill is about 40 miles north of Tampa.

© 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Watch & Listen LIVE