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Recovery of pilot’s body is hampered by fog after plane crashes near Mt. Wilson

Wreckage from a plane crash is strewn on the side of Mt. Wilson. The body of the pilot was recovered Monday night, coroner's officials said.
(Riley Duren, JPL)

Heavy fog on Monday continued to prevent searchers from recovering the body of a pilot whose plane crashed near Mt. Wilson a day earlier, according to officials.

Despite low visibility early in the day, authorities said they hoped to return to the foothills near Angeles National Forest on Monday to retrieve the pilot’s remains, said Sgt. Bob Boese, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Meanwhile, the sheriff’s department, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are continuing their investigation into the circumstances of the crash.

The pilot’s identity has not been released pending notification of his family. The plane was registered to a San Diego-based company, San Diego Skylane LLC, according to FAA registration records.

The pilot was the only person on board, said Deputy Juanita Navarro-Suarez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff‘s Department.

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The Cessna 182 departed Montgomery Field in San Diego about 7:30 a.m. and was en route to Santa Monica when it disappeared from radar, according to the flight-tracking website FlightAware.

During the flight over Los Angeles County, the fixed-wing single-engine plane encountered foggy conditions and veered northeast from its intended path.

The radar lost contact with the plane about 8:30 a.m., when it was about 17 miles east of Van Nuys, said Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

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Inclement weather and limited information hampered much of the search-and-rescue effort Sunday.

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About 50 sheriff’s reserve deputies and volunteers and six teams searched for the plane wreckage near Mt. Wilson.

Volunteers hiking in the steep terrain contended with thick brush that limited visibility. Aerial search efforts were delayed by thick fog.

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But the aerial team eventually spotted the plane along the south side of Brown Mountain, named for the abolitionist John Brown. The mountain is about four miles north of Altadena.

veronica.rocha@latimes.com

Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA

paloma.esquivel@latimes.com

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Twitter: @palomaesquivel

matt.hamilton@latimes.com

Twitter: @MattHjourno

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