Wreckage of missing aircraft found
Crash site southeast of Porterville
About 8:30 a.m. Monday a Kern County Sheriff’s Office helicopter spotted the wreckage of a plane reported overdue Sunday night. There was no word on survivors.
The report of the plane overdue prompted a search by both the Kern County and Tulare County sheriff’s departments, with the Tulare County search focused south of Porterville.
Kern County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Ray Pruitt said Monday the crew of the helicopter found the wreckage in the Woody area off of Highway 155, southeast of Porterville. Pruitt said the wreckage is right on the Kern-Tulare County line and officials were still trying to determine which county it was in.
He said the helicopter was able to land near the site and the crew was checking on survivors, but the wreckage was spread out over a large area.
Officials got word of the overdue plane about 5:45 p.m. Sunday. TCSO Lt. Kevin Cotton said officials began searching the south county immediately. He said the plane was reportedly en route from Southern California to Fresno, but did not arrive when expected. He said Meadows Field in Bakersfield had the plane on radar for a while, but it disappeared. However, it is not uncommon for planes to move out of radar range over Tulare County.
The Tulare County search involved the Tulare County Fire Department, the CHP and the Sheriff’s Department. Assisting in the search was at least one CHP helicopter.
Pruitt said weather conditions did not allow for an aerial search Sunday night. He said the focus of their initial search was in the area where the plane was discovered.
It was not known the type of plane or how many people were on board.