ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST (CBSLA.com/AP) — Authorities Sunday morning responded to reports of a downed plane in the Angeles National Forest.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said a Cessna 182 was reported missing Sunday morning around 9 a.m. during a flight from San Diego to Santa Monica.
They also confirmed there is one fatality associated with the crash. Officials said the pilot was the lone occupant of the airplane.
Desmond Shaw, reporting in Sky2, said he was having trouble finding the wreckage in the mountains. “It’s like finding a needle in a haystack,” he reported.
Kennitzer says the plane was about 17 miles east of Van Nuys when contact was lost.
The aerial search was complicated by heavy cloud cover.
Officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said the search included six of eight teams of the LASD’s Rescue Teams and Air Rescue 5 units.
Around 4 a.m., officials were able to conduct a search via air after heavy clouds and fog lifted. Crews said they found the wreckage around 5:20 p.m., about four miles north of Altadena.
After lowering themselves by rope, they determined a male adult was deceased. The man’s name was being withheld until his next of kin can be notified.
KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo said investigators are on scene but are hampered by the terrain and weather conditions.
The victim’s body has not been recovered.
Investigators with the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) will have to be lowered to the crash site by helicopter and wreckage and evidence air-lifted out.