Details of Disappearance
Abecassis was last seen in Boca Raton, Florida on December 27, 1994. He told his wife of seven years he needed to handle some quick business at the airport and she offered to go along with him, but he said no.
Abecassis had gotten a letter saying he needed to update his flying record in order to keep his commercial flying license current, and he thought he had to just change something in the computer at the airport and would be back soon. In fact, he had to make a flight; in order to carry passengers, every pilot was required to complete three takeoffs and three landings every 90 days.
Abecassis rented a brown single-engine 1978 Piper Warrior airplane with light gold trim from Boca Aviation, paying $75 for an hour. He indicated he was going to fly locally and practice touch-and-go landings. He left the ground at 1:35 p.m. He didn't file a flight plan; it wasn't required for flights within a fifty-mile radius. He also didn't bring along emergency equipment such as flares, life jackets or rafts.
Abecassis never returned home and has never been heard from again. The airplane had enough fuel to last about four hours flying at 138 miles per hour. The emergency locating transmitter inside can be turned on manually or go off automatically at impact; searchers didn't detect any signals. An extensive search of the ocean turned up no indication of Abecassis or the plane.
Abecassis and his wife had moved to Boca Raton from the city of Rouen in France four years before his disappearance. He had held a pilot's license in France and had been flying for at least seven years, and he was trying to find a job as a commercial pilot or a flight instructor when he disappeared. His body has never been found.