Kern County Fire Department Helicopter 407 assisted in the search of the downed plane. It was airborne during the start of a media briefing held Friday afternoon outside the Stallion Springs Police Department.

TEHACHAPI — The three victims of the plane crash in the Tehachapi Mountains were recovered Sunday afternoon, the Kern County Sheriff's Office reported Sunday night.

"All bodies were under several feet of snow and trees that had fallen over and amongst the wreckage," Search and Rescue Sgt. Steven Williams said outside the Golden Hills Community Services District office.

He said the wreckage of the twin-engine Beechcraft, which was first reported missing Thursday night during a snowstorm, was buried in many pieces on Cummings Mountain under about five feet of snow at an elevation of some 6,700 feet. All major components of the plane were found.

"Getting to the bodies was extremely difficult and working under those conditions was also difficult," the sergeant said. "We ended up flying them out."

The identities of the three people will be released by the coroner's division of the Sheriff's Office.

KCSO's operation is concluded, he said, adding that there will be operations in the future to recover the aircraft.

"It will be up to the owners of the aircraft and the property owners to make arrangements to remove the aircraft," he said.

The Sheriff's Office was first called around 10:30 p.m. Thursday for a plane that had an overdue flight plan from San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles.

One person was confirmed dead Friday as crews worked to find the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will continue investigating the incident. Other agencies involved in the operation were the Civil Air Patrol, Kern County Fire Department and California Office of Emergency Services.

TBC Media's Christine Peterson contributed to this report.

(1) comment


Bad WX flight plans via the mountain passes are always bad flight plans. More to come on why the flight from SLO to LA was over the mountains far inland instead of down the coast.

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