Missing plane may have crashed near Sugar Bowl | TheUnion.com

Missing plane may have crashed near Sugar Bowl

SODA SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) ” A small plane that disappeared from radar after it left Reno-Tahoe International Airport may have gone down near the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort, Placer County sheriff’s officials said.

The plane’s pilot told air traffic control at Oakland International Airport Sunday night that his wings were icing and he was going down. At the time, he was over a rugged area that is only accessible by snowmobile, helicopter or ski because of the heavy snow pack.

A snow-groomer at the Sugar Bowl ski area reported around 1:45 a.m. that he had found parts of an aircraft and a parachute. A debris field was found crossing the ski runs and led to boundary of the ski area, Capt. Rick Armstrong said Monday.

Search and rescue crews found more debris Monday morning, but have not located the plane or the pilot, whose name was not released, Armstrong said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were also participating in the investigation and search. In addition, more than 20 Sugar Bowl ski patrollers were helping the search, said Kristin York, marketing manager for the ski park.

The ski park delayed opening runs on Mt. Lincoln in the southeast area of the resort until the search was complete, York said.

“There was a parachute found at the top of Mt. Lincoln,” she said. “It appears the plane has crashed behind the mountain.”

Early Monday, it was snowing at the ski park and visibility was poor, she said. But by midmorning the skies were starting to clear, which would enable rescuers to use helicopters, she said.

The four-seat plane was manufactured by Cirrus Aviation, the world’s second-largest manufacturer of single-engine planes. It was enroute from Reno to Novato, Calif., York said.

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