Authorities Have Yet To Identify Pilot Killed In San Bernardino Peak Plane Crash

Neither the National Transportation Safety Board nor the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has identified the victim of a plane crash that occurred in the San Gorgonio Wilderness on November 20.
Initial reports were that plane wreckage involving a two-seat Glasair III that went missing Saturday was found roughly 40 miles east of Big Bear City.
While that report said the plane, carrying a single pilot, was in “mountainous terrain,” a point 40 miles east of Big Bear City is in the desert roughly five miles north of Twentynine Palms. More recently, the Sentinel was informed, the plane came down roughly 1.23 miles west of San Bernardino Peak in the San Gorgonio Wilderness area about 5 miles east southeast of Angeles Oaks.
The pilot was killed in the impact.
The plane left Camarillo Airport in California on November 20, with a destination of Phoenix-Deer Valley Airport in Arizona. It was reported as having gone missing on Saturday, November 20.
The Glassair III, a single-engine craft, was described as an “experimental” model.
It is unclear how it was known that the airplane crashed where it did, though based on available information, a report of the crash was relayed to the both the San Bernardino County Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department early Sunday morning. It took personnel with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s search and rescue team six hours of hiking in difficult terrain to reach the crash, after which a sheriff ’s helicopter was vectored to the location. While that aviation unit hovered above the crash location, a National Transportation Safety Board official was lowered to the ground with San Bernardino County Fire Department personnel and a sheriff’s investigation team.
The fire department personnel assisted in the effort by finding, securing and safely establishing landing zones for other aircraft involved in the operation.
The pilot’s remains were in the custody of the coroner’s office in San Bernardino on Tuesday, at which time work to positively identify the corpse was under way.
The pilot was the sole occupant of the plane.
The preliminary indication from the Federal Aviation Administration was that the crash was an “accident,” with pilot error the likely cause.
-Mark Gutglueck

Leave a Reply