Search for missing Solvang pilot still delayed
April 29, 2013
A search for a missing Solvang pilot whose single-engine airplane apparently crashed near Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome will be resumed in June, park officials said. [Santa Maria Times]
Nicol Wilson’s 1966 Mooney M20F disappeared from radar Dec. 17 after he left Santa Ynez Airport headed for Mammoth Lakes Airport to join his family for a holiday celebration. Wilson, 66, was the only person aboard the aircraft.
Officials were able to discern the approximate location of the missing plane at the point where it was last detected by radar, but rescuers have been unable to reach the site because of bad weather. The location, which covers more than 600 square miles, remains cloaked in heavy snow.
A park spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle last year, “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. 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.”