Monday, July 08, 2013

Mooney M20F Executive, N9524M: Accident occurred December 17, 2012 in Yosemite Valley, California

NTSB Identification: WPR13FAMS1
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, December 17, 2012 in Yosemite Valley, CA
Aircraft: MOONEY M20F, registration: N9524M
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On December 17, 2012, about 1230 Pacific standard time, a Mooney M20F airplane, N9524M, was reported overdue/missing near Yosemite Valley, California. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained unknown injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the personal flight. The flight originated from the Santa Ynez Airport (IZA), Santa Ynez, California, about 1025 with an intended destination of Mammoth Lakes, California. An emergency locator beacon signal has not been reported.

A family member of the pilot reported the airplane overdue to local law enforcement the evening of December 17, 2012, after becoming concerned when the pilot had not arrived at his intended destination. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an Alert Notification (ALNOT) for the missing airplane at 2309.

Nicol Wilson

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A single-engine plane that vanished over Yosemite National Park last December during a winter storm was found crashed in the rugged high country, its pilot dead, a park spokesman said on Monday.  

A hiker discovered the wreckage of the single-engine plane, which was largely intact, on Saturday near the park's remote Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, said Scott Gediman, a Yosemite Park ranger and spokesman.

Rangers hiked to the location on Sunday and positively identified the pilot as Nicol Wilson, who had been flying the 1966 Mooney M20F from Santa Barbara to the Mammoth Lakes Airport when he was reported missing on December 17, 2012.

Wilson's remains were removed from the crash scene and would be turned over to the Mariposa County Coroner for an autopsy, Gediman said, adding that the National Transportation Safety Board would conduct an investigation into the crash.

Authorities conducted an extensive search for Wilson, whose flight plan took him directly over Yosemite, at the time of the crash and again this year after suspending the operation during the winter season, Gediman said.

He said the plane was found above the timber line, at about 11,000 feet to 12,000 feet, a rocky area that few hikers reach during the winter season. The white plane blended in with snow on the ground, making it hard to see from the air.

Gediman said the plane would eventually be removed from its rocky perch, some of it by likely by hand and carried down the mountain by horses or mules, other parts hauled out by helicopter.


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