Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Special Enforcement Bureau officials are reporting plane crash wreckage found in the mountains near Lake Hughes.
The crash was found in a “pretty desolate area,” said Lt. James Duran of the
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
Another plane flying over the area reportedly spotted the crash and contacted Kern County Sheriff’s officials, who then contacted the LASD Aero Bureau, Duran said. An LASD helicopter was sent out to the area and found the crash.
Duran said there appears to be a a fatality.
Photos of the crash were posted to the LASD SEB Twitter page Wednesday around 11 a.m.
Press Release from the Civil Air Patrol:
Members of Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing located the wreckage of a missing Mooney aircraft with a single pilot on board Wednesday morning in the mountainous terrain near Lake Hughes in Los Angeles County. There were no survivors.
The aircraft was reported overdue Tuesday after the pilot’s neighbors alerted Kern County Sheriff’s Department to barking dogs at the pilot’s home. Sheriff’s officials determined the pilot, who routinely flew between Tehachapi Municipal Airport (KTSP), where the plane was based, and the Los Angeles area, was last seen at the Tehachapi airport around 9 a.m. Thursday morning, Jan. 12. No flight plan was filed and the plane’s intended destination was unclear.
The California Wing of the Civil Air Patrol was activated Tuesday evening by the U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, located at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, to initiate a search for the missing aircraft. A CAP aircrew flew an electronic route search Tuesday night between Tehachapi and Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, but heard no pings from the aircraft’s emergency locator transmitter.
Overnight efforts by the CAP National Radar Analysis Team narrowed down the initial search area. A second aircrew and a CAP ground team launched from Whiteman Airport (KWHP) in Pacoima just after sunrise Wednesday morning to conduct a visual search in the mountainous area between the communities of Castaic and Lake Hughes, within the Angeles National Forest.
The downed aircraft was located about an hour into the air search, at approximately 7:45 a.m.
A CAP ground team of eight search and rescue volunteers confirmed the wreckage on a steep hillside as that of the missing Mooney at 8:15 a.m., and the team reported what appeared to be one fatality at the site.
A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LACSO) helicopter was dispatched to the site and the coroner’s office notified. CAP ground team members were requested by LACSO to remain at the wreckage until the coroner’s office arrived on scene.
“While the outcome of this mission was not what we hoped for, I’m thankful we were able to provide closure to the pilot’s family members and friends,” said Civil Air Patrol incident commander Capt. Charles Christian.
“I’m proud of the professionalism demonstrated by members of Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing, who worked tirelessly through the night to plan and prepare for the visual search phase. Their training and hard work brought swift resolution to an unfortunate situation,” Christian said.
A total of 43 CAP professional volunteers, two CAP aircraft and two CAP vehicles were used in the search mission.