Small Plane Crash in Southern California

After covering miles of rugged terrain on foot, deputies found the bodies of a man and woman who died when a small plane crashed near Julian, CA, October 10, 2013.

A sheriff’s search and rescue team, along with deputies from Julian and a U.S. Border Patrol team, made the discovery around 12:45 a.m. on the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve. The plane was en route from Palm Springs, and was reported missing after it did not arrive as scheduled at Gillespie Field airport in San Diego, CA.

The plane — a single-engine Mooney —  is registered to Andrew Thulin, of San Diego.

The sheriff’s department had originally wanted to use helicopters in the search but changed plans because of the sleet, snow and high winds, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Don Parker. A ground search was conducted instead, with rescuers utilizing a “ping” from the pilot’s cell phone number that allowed them to locate the wreckage, Parker said.

An investigation by the NTSB and FAA was on hold due to the government shutdown.

“We are going to take photographs and we are going to detail the circumstances of the scene,” sheriff’s department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said.

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