According to local and federal authorities rescuers recovered five bodies from the wreckage of a small plane that crashed into an orchard in central California after suddenly disappearing from radar. The plane disappeared from radar at about 4 p.m. on Saturday during a flight from San Jose to Las Vegas, according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokesman Ian Gregor. The aircraft reportedly sent a mayday call.
A rescue team discovered the wreckage about three hours after receiving a message from the FAA about a plane that lost contact around 10 miles south of Bakersfield. Both the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash site.
The Federal Aviation Administration was trying to determine what caused the crash that killed five people, Kern County sheriff’s Sgt Mark King yesterday said. He expected the names of the victims to be released today.
“The aircraft is in a debris field … in an almond orchard, so it’s going to take a lot of footwork to conduct the investigation,” said Sgt. Mark King with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. “We do not expect to have positive identification of the passengers until Monday,” he said.
According to the Sheriff’s office, the plane had sent out signals of distress before it completely vanished from the radar about 10 miles south of Bakersfield. The Sheriff’s Office was notified of the incident at 4:26 p.m. The sheriff’s office along with other agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, responded to the distress signals and carried out a ground search.
The debris from the plane crash was finally located by the search crews after three hours of search, as per a news release. The debris-field of the crash was nearly a quarter-mile in length and it was found in an almond orchard at the southwest of the intersection of South Allen and Panama lanes in detached Kern County.
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. Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration told, the private plane disappeared from close to Bakersfield at around 4 p.m. on Saturday.
After arriving at the scene of the plane crash on Sunday morning, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have begun their investigation into the cause of the crash, according to CNN. If precedence of similar cases is to be taken into account, it will take agencies months and if not longer to identify the possible causes for the plane crash.
Jimmy Dahlan, the brother-in-law of the family of five who died near Bakersfield this weekend after taking off from Reid Hillview Airport in San Jose, spoke exclusively with NBC Bay Area on Sunday night. He identified the crash victims as Jason Thomas Price and his wife Olga Dahlan, and their three children, Olivia 9, Mary 10, and John, 14. All had lived in Gilroy. Dahlan was too emotional to provide any other comment on the family or the crash.