Body found in wreckage of airplane near Lake Hughes

Searchers discovered a body amid the wreckage of a small aircraft that was found Wednesday on a snowcapped slope in the Angeles National Forest near Lake Hughes, authorities said.

The Mooney M20J airplane was flying from Tehachapi to Torrance on Thursday when it disappeared, according to Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Los Angeles. Authorities presumed the plane had crashed and search crews had been looking for signs of wreckage ever since. 

“Local authorities say that only the pilot was on board,” Kenitzer said.

At about 10 a.m. Wednesday, members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Bureau spotted the aircraft and notified deputies in the area, said Shirley Miller, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s Santa Clarita Valley Station.

The downed aircraft was discovered in the vicinity of Forest Route 7N23 and Pine Canyon Road, she said. At least one person was found dead, Miller said.

The bureau later tweeted photographs on the plane’s wreckage.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA on Twitter.

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