Broker Tried to Fake Plane Death: Cops
Pilot facing fraud charges abandoned plane in mid-air
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2009 4:33 AM CST

(Newser) – An Indiana businessman being investigated for fraud apparently tried to fake his death in a plane crash, the Indianapolis Star reports. Authorities believe businessman Mark Schrenker, an accomplished stunt pilot, faked a distress call from the small plane he was piloting saying that the windshield had imploded and he was bleeding—then parachuted out and let the plane continue on autopilot until it crashed in Florida.

A man with the pilot's driver's license approached police in Alabama hours later telling them he had been in a canoeing accident. He was taken to a hotel where he checked in under a fake name, then fled into nearby woods. Police are now searching for Schrenker, who has been accused of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars through his financial management business.