July 29, 2016 – Authorities said 4 bodies were found in a crashed medical transport plane in Northern California’s densely forested mountain range after the pilot of the plane reported smoke in the cockpit.
The plane, Pipe PA31, was carrying a patient, a transport medic and a flight nurse about 360 mi from Crescent City (near the Oregon border) to Oakland when the pilot called for an emergency around 1am on Friday.
Ian Gregor, the spokesman of Federal Aviation Administration, said the pilot of Pipe PA31 planned to return to the city but the plane vanished from radar five miles north of the airport of Arcata-Eureka on the far northern coast.
Rescue teams were led by the Department of Humboldt County Sheriff. They found the crash site few hours later on a land owned by a private company in the county about two hundred eighty miles north of San Francisco.
Ernie Stewart, the chief deputy coroner of the county, said his office received 4 victims yet he declined to identify them until kin were notified.
The plane was a part of Cal-Ore Life Flight that transports patients throughout Oregon and Northern California. The parent company REACH Air Medical Services spokesman, Don Wharton, said nighttime flights are just common.
The plane crash will be further investigated by the National Transportation and Safety Board.