UPDATE: Pilot killed in small plane crash near Lake Hughes

(Twitter: @SEBLASD)

The pilot of a small plane was killed Thursday when his plane crashed in mountainous terrain near Lake Hughes, wreckage of which was found early afternoon Wednesday.

The identity of the pilot has not been released.

“A Mooney M20J crashed eight miles west of Lake Hughes under unknown circumstances on Jan. 12,” Allen Kenitzer, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, told The Signal Wednesday.

“The aircraft was the subject of a search,” he said. “The plane was traveling from Tehachapi to Torrance.”

Wreckage from the crash was spotted by other pilots Wednesday morning.  By, noon, authorities confirmed it was indeed the wreckage of a small plane.

The Mooney M20 is a plane built by the Mooney Airplane Company that is piston-powered and propeller-driven.

“A plane flying over the area saw what appeared to be wreckage of a plane crash,” Lt. James Duran told The Signal shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“We sent up a helicopter and confirmed that there was indeed wreckage,” he said. “And, there appears to be a fatality.”

“We still have units going over there,” Duran said.

Officials with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are now investigating the crash, Kenitzer said.

Firefighters with US Forest Service also responded to the incident.

“The (Angeles National) Forest sent one Fire Patrol and one Law Enforcement officer for our reporting purposes only,” Nathan Judy, spokesman for the US Forest Service said.

Searchers were out in force Tuesday looking for the overdue plane, said Eric Weiss, spokesman for the NTSB said Wednesday.

“The crash happened in mountainous terrain,” Weiss said.  “They found wreckage and that’s what we are investigating.”

“Our investigators are on their way,” Kelly Yagerlener, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Department, said mid-afternoon Wednesday.


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on Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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