5 bodies found in plane wreckage in Kern County orchard

BAKERSFIELD — Rescuers pulled five bodies from the wreckage of a small plane that crashed into an orchard in central California after vanishing from radar, local and federal authorities said Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration was looking for what caused the crash that killed five people, Kern County sheriff’s Sgt. Mark King said. He expected the names of the victims to be released Monday.

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the single-engine Piper PA32 around 4 p.m. Saturday as it headed from Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose to Henderson Executive Airport in a Las Vegas suburb, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The plane sent a mayday call. Searchers spotted the wreckage southwest of Bakersfield about three hours after receiving an alert from the FAA about a missing plane that was last detected an estimated 10 miles south of the city, the Kern County sheriff’s office said.

A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford said it was rainy and cloudy in the area south of Bakersfield around the time the plane dropped off radar.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigator also was on site Sunday, Gregor said.

FAA records list an address for an owner of the plane. A woman who answered a number listed for that address would only say that her husband used to be part owner of the plane but sold his share.

BakersfieldBay Area NewsFederal Aviation AdministrationHanfordIan GregorKern CountyNational Weather ServicePiper PA32plane crashSan Jose International Airport

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

From left, California state Sen. Milton Marks, Sen. Nicholas Petris, Assemblyman John Knox and Save San Francisco Bay Association co-founders Esther Gulick, Sylvia McLaughlin and Kay Kerr watch Gov. Ronald Reagan sign the bill establishing the Bay Conservation and Development Commission as a permanent agency in 1969. (Courtesy Save The Bay)
Sixty years of Saving San Francisco Bay

Pioneering environmental group was started by three ladies on a mission

Temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes will be added to sections of state Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 101, including Park Presidio Boulevard, to keep traffic flowing as The City reopens. <ins>(Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Transit and high-occupancy vehicle lanes coming to some of The City’s busiest streets

Changes intended to improve transit reliability as traffic increases with reopening

Tents filled up a safe camping site in a former parking lot at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin in June 2020.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Proposal for major expansion of safe sleeping sites gets cool reception in committee

Supervisor Mandelman calls for creation of more temporary shelter sites to get homeless off streets

A surplus of	mice on the Farallon Islands have caused banded burrowing owls to stay year round instead of migrating, longtime researchers say. <ins>(Courtesy Point Blue Conservation Science)</ins>
Farallon Islands researchers recommend eradicating mice

The Farallon Islands comprise three groups of small islands located nearly 30… Continue reading

Once we can come and go more freely, will people gather the way they did before COVID? <ins>(Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner file photo)</ins>
What happens when the pandemic is over?

After experiencing initial excitement, I wonder just how much I’ll go out

Most Read