Pilot of small plane dead after crash near Mount Jefferson | New

LINN COUNTY, Ore. – A pilot of a small plane died after crashing near the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area Thursday afternoon.

According to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the initial call of a downed plane came in at 4:14 p.m. Thursday. Hikers in the area reported hearing what sounded like an airplane engine followed by a loud crash.

Two hikers were on the Pacific Crest Trail when they heard the crash and said they could smell fuel but did not see an aircraft.

The report was followed up with the United States Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) contacting the dispatcher and said they had an aircraft radar that had gone missing over the Mount Jefferson wilderness.

At approximately 6:25 p.m. the AFRCC called back and said it confirmed radar showed a small plane had crashed and provided a general area.

The Linn County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue, along with Life Flight, were dispatched to search for the downed plane.

Life Flight flew over the area but could not find the crash site due to weather conditions.

While crews searched, the AFRCC said they received a report of a missing and overdue aircraft. The missing aircraft was a 1996 Piper Cherokee single-engine aircraft from Llano, California.

Then, Friday morning, around 9 a.m., a US Coast Guard helicopter was able to locate the crash site east of Lake Marion between Mount Jefferson and Three Fingered Jack.

Linn County search and rescue teams marched through the area and set up camp near the crash site. Rescuers confirmed that the pilot had died as the accident did not allow him to survive.

The identity of the pilot has not been released at this time.

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