JOHNS ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – The pilot of a doomed aircraft sent out a distress signal just moments before crashing his private plane near Johns Island over the weekend.

“Mayday, mayday, I’m in the clouds – I’m going down,” the pilot could be heard saying in air traffic audio prior to crashing into Abbapoola Creek on Saturday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) confirmed to News 2 that a Piper PA-28 crashed into the Johns Island marsh at approximately 12:50 p.m.

The private pilot, who did not survive the crash, was later identified by the Charleston County Coroner’s Office as 66-year-old Andrew Patterson of Cutler, Maine.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined by the FAA or National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is investigating the incident. But flight records reveal the pilot traveled through stormy conditions on Saturday during his flight from Conway, South Carolina to Johns Island.

FlightAware map shows the flight the Piper PA-28 took from Conway to Johns Island before crash.

Patterson was en route to the Charleston Executive Airport at the time of the crash.

Air traffic controllers can be heard asking if contact had been reestablished with the pilot moments after the distress signal was given. The response is inaudible. Audio later calls for anyone monitoring air traffic near the Johns Island airport to be on the lookout for the small aircraft.

Several bystanders observed the plane crash into the marsh, including boaters in the nearby Stono River. Multiple agencies responded but the crash site was only accessible by boat.

Patterson was recovered from the site around 5:00 p.m.