September 16, 2014
California Wing Locates Missing Pilot
Fresno, California -- Civil Air Patrol’s California Wing has located a downed aircraft missing since Monday evening. The pilot, who was seen walking near the airplane, has been transported from the crash site in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains via a National Park Service helicopter.
CAP spotted the downed aircraft at 9:03 a.m. today near where the last known Emergency Locator Transmitter signal had been heard. The aircraft had departed from Reid-Hillview Airport, San Jose, California, on Monday and was destined for Lone Pine, California.
Eight CAP members led by CAP Maj. Marc Sobel, the mission’s incident commander, conducted three aerial searches for the missing pilot. Initially, CAP launched an aircraft from Camarillo, California, at 11:28 p.m. Monday evening and received its first signal from the plane’s ELT at 12:44 a.m. The general location of the beacon was identified at approximately 1:05 a.m., in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains, approximately 80 miles east of Fresno.
Due to low nighttime visibility, the search mission was resumed today at 7:15 a.m., and the pilot was located two hours later.
“The members of the California Wing performed this mission is an extremely polished and professional manner, which is what they are trained to do,” said California Wing Commander, Col. Jon Stokes. “I am extremely proud of them and especially proud of the way in which the mission ended.”
Aaron P. Yanagihara, Maj.CAP
PAO, Norcal Group 5 (CA-445)
PAO, CAWG (CA-001)