Emergency beacon, reported explosion and possible aircraft crash remain a mystery


The pinging of a Federal Aviation Administration emergency beacon, a report of a loud explosion and a possible aircraft crash near Newhall remained a mystery to investigators as of Thursday.  

Within hours of an explosion being first heard by Newhall residents at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, and the emergency beacon being sounded near Interstate 210, a search and rescue operation was undertaken by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies and Fire Department personnel — with the report being a possible aircraft crash had occurred somewhere in the San Gabriel Mountains.  

“We are looking at the western portion of the San Gabriel Mountain range,” said Lt. Doug Morhoff of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on Wednesday. “Apparently an (Federal Aviation Administration) emergency beacon was detected.”  

“Law enforcement contacted the FAA in response to resident reports of a possible crash,” Ian Gregor, a public affairs specialist for the FAA, also said Wednesday morning. “No aircraft have been reported missing or overdue in that area.” 

The Los Angeles County Fire Department had also dispatched one of its own helicopters to assist in the search effort.  

However, two days after the original call, no aircraft had yet to be found Thursday and the local agencies in charge of the search were unable to confirm if the effort to find a possible crash site remained ongoing.  

Officials with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station said the search had been handed off to the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station and they are no longer investigating, but officials at the Crescenta Valley station said on Thursday they had not heard of any ongoing effort to find a possibly downed aircraft.  

The FAA has said the search effort is in the hands of the local agencies, and the county Fire Department, as of 5 p.m. Thursday, did not have any helicopters in the air assisting with a search and rescue operation.  

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