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article imagePilot and plane still lost near Yosemite Nat'l Park

By Gar Swaffar     Dec 22, 2012 in Travel
Yosemite National Park - Nicol Wilson left Santa Barbara, California on Monday in his airplane, he was last seen on radar near Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite Rangers and search personnel from multiple agencies have been searching for Nicol Wilson near the North Dome area of Yosemite National Park since Monday, so far with no success.
The plane and its pilot were headed for Mammoth Lakes Airport from Santa Barbara when it fell off the radar. Wilson should have checked in at the Mammoth Lakes airport on Monday afternoon, but hasn't been heard from since he left.
A spokesperson for Yosemite Park was quoted at MML: "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."
With a new storm system moving into the region this afternoon, and more on the way for tonight, tomorrow and Monday, the increased snow cover is bound to make the job of finding the small white plane even more difficult. In the meantime the hope is for the 68 year-old Wilson to have had some type of survival gear stowed in the aircraft.
If the storm moving into the region tonight creates hazardous flying conditions, the eight aircraft and approximately 60 personnel involved in the search may need to be pulled off the search on Saturday, until conditions improve.
More about Pilot, Airplane, missing aircraft, Nicol Wilson, yosemite national park
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