LAKE HUGHES – The wreckage of a small plane was found Wednesday in the Angeles National Forest near Lake Hughes and the pilot was found dead at the crash scene.
It’s believed to be the aircraft that was reported missing last Thursday [Jan. 12] while en route from Tehachapi to Torrance, the Federal Aviation Administration reported.
The sheriff’s Santa Clarita Station was notified about 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18, of the discovery of the wreckage near Pine Canyon Road and Forest Route.
“A Mooney M20J, which was the subject of a search … was traveling from Tehachapi to Torrance,” said Allen Kenitzer of the FAA. “This appears to be the missing aircraft from (Thursday). Local authorities say that only the pilot was onboard.”
UPDATED 1.19.17: Authorities Thursday publicly identified the pilot as Frederick Espiau, 56, of Tehachapi.
Espiau, who died at the scene of the crash, was the owner of the airplane, said Craig Harvey of the coroner’s office.
A Bakersfield television station reported that Espiau’s friends in Tehachapi became worried when he did not return from his normal commute flight from his hometown in the Kern County mountains to the Los Angeles area.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.