One day after a plane reportedly went missing, officials have recovered the bodies of five persons on-board the wreckage of an aircraft in an orchard in central California. Local and federal authorities have advised that the single-engine plane disappeared from radar yesterday and today the mystery has been partially cleared up when the wreckage was found in a almond orchard south of Bakersfield.
The five victims have not been officially identified but have been taken into custody by the coroner’s office. Once identified, the next of kin for the victims will be notified of the tragic circumstances. Kern County sheriff’s sergeant, Mark King, has said that the Federal Aviation Administration has reported that there will be a thorough investigation into the possible cause of the crash that claimed the lives of at least five persons that were on-board.
5 bodies found in plane wreckage in orchard near Bakersfield: https://t.co/y9boZ0vEEX
— CBS Los Angeles (@CBSLA) December 20, 2015
When Reuters first reported on the crash, the Kern County Sheriff Commander, Shaun Beasley, was reluctant to reveal any details of the crash but gave insight into the severity of the plane wreckage.
“It did not appear to be a survivable crash.”
The single-engine Piper PA32 lost contact with air traffic controllers at approximately 4 p.m. on Saturday. Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, released details of the initial flight plan of the plane to the media, stating that it had been flying from Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose and expected at the Henderson Executive Airport outside Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada. The last contact air traffic controllers had with the plane before it went off radar was that of a mayday distress call.
Search and rescue have so far not turned up any survivors, only the bodies of five victims. No word has been released as to how many persons were supposed to be on-board the flight. The authorities have also not actually located the plane’s tail number to use and officially identify the aircraft, but there is strong evidence to support the current theory that the wreckage belongs to the plane out of San Jose.
The Federal Aviation Administration sent out information that the plane had most likely crashed after they received the mayday. A search and rescue crew discovered the wreckage of the plane about 115 miles northwest of Los Angeles within three hours of receiving the report from the FAA. The debris was actually located within three hours based off the general information that the plane was believed to have gone down somewhere within a 10 miles south of the city.
5 bodies were found in the wreckage of a small plane that went missing yesterday en route to Henderson Exec. Airport https://t.co/0WB7lSl9sM
— Las Vegas RJ (@reviewjournal) December 20, 2015
According to the L.A. Times, Sgt. Mark King reported that weather may have played a part in the plane crashing. A meteorologist in Hanford, near the scene of the crash, with the National Weather Service reported that, at the time the plane went off radar, the area south of Bakersfield was experiencing really bad weather — the area was rainy and cloudy.
Both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were reported to be at the scene of the plane wreck on Sunday to continue their investigation of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is officially in charge of the investigation, and with them at the helm, answers to the reason behind the crash will be slow in coming.
Typically it takes the NTSB agency months, and sometimes longer, to determine a probable cause for an accident.
[Photo Courtesy of Phillip Pilosian/ Shutterstock]