He has been named as Simon Wells, 44, from Greatstone in Kent, pictured here with a Lightning aircraft at an air display.
Mr Wells was flying a Cherokee aircraft when it ditched into the sea off Winchelsea Beach shortly after 5pm.
Coastguard helicopters and RNLI boats searched the area, but nobody was found and the search was called off at 10pm.
Some wreckage believed to be from the aircraft was found by the Coastguard on Winchelsea Beach on Saturday and has been removed to a secure location for examination by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB).
Meanwhile officers from Sussex Police were on the scene on Sunday (August 7) using a drone to try and locate anything which may have come from the plane.
Anyone who saw what happened, or who sees anything washed ashore over the coming days which may come from the aircraft, is asked to contact Sussex Police on [email protected] or call 101 quoting Operation Ascot.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1) Make our website your homepage
2) Like our Facebook page
3) Follow us on Twitter
4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!
Always the first with your local news.
Be part of it.