Yosemite Missing Plane Update
Yosemite, CA — After nearly a week of searching Yosemite National Park Officials report there is no sign of the plane or pilot. The Pilot, 68 year old Nicol Wilson of Santa Barbara, took off alone from Santa Barbara headed towards the Mammoth Lake Airport on Monday. When he didn’t arrive that afternoon his family reported him missing. Rescue crews are searching by air in the North Dome area and facing several problems.
Park Ranger Kari Cobb says, “This is definitely like looking for a needle in a haystack. This is a very small plane, it is a single engine plane and it was white. The area they are looking in is completely covered in snow, so the chances of spotting the plane are going to be extremely hard. The search has covered approximately 600 square miles of the park. Also, with the sun being so low this time of the year, it has created shadows from some of the peaks making it difficult to see in the dark areas of those shadows.”
Cobb says they are monitoring a storm system moving into the park Friday night and that could force them to call off the search Saturday. Nearly 60 personnel are involved in the search. Eight different aircraft are being used in the search including a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol and two fixed-wing planes piloted by the Civil Air Patrol.