Plane Missing Since December Found In Yosemite National Park Backcountry

A single-engine plane and its pilot missing over Yosemite National Park since last December have been found.

Park officials reported Monday that the plane, missing since December 17, was spotted by a park visitor near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp on Saturday. The Vogelsang area is in the rugged high country of Yosemite.

Yosemite rangers hiked to the plane's location on Sunday and found the body of the pilot, Nicol Wilson, a park release said.

Mr. Wilson, who was flying from the Santa Barbara area to the Mammoth Lakes Airport on the east side of the Sierra Nevada, disappeared during a winter storm on Monday, December 17, 2012. After extensive searching of the Yosemite high country, the search was suspended for the winter season.

Park crews had searched the backcountry extensively over the past several months, once conditions allowed for travel through the high country.

The Yosemite National Park Helitak crew was greatly assisted by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Civil Air Patrol (CAP), California Emergency Services, and YoDogs (canine search and rescue assistance) during the extensive search operation.

Yosemite rangers will be removing the plane from the backcountry over the next several weeks.