Medford man owns plane in California crash

An 84-year-old Medford man is the owner of a single-engine plane that crashed Saturday in a mountainous area near Happy Camp, Calif., according to the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Department.

Alonzo "Lonie" Edward Mullin appeared to be the pilot of his Socata single-engine, four-seater plane, according to information obtained from the Federal Aviation Administration by the Sheriff's Department.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Rick Riggins said his investigators haven't been able to determine with certainty that Mullin was on board the plane when it crashed.

"We can't confirm it was Alonzo Mullin," he said. "We have found debris from a plane possibly flown by him."

As of late Sunday, search and rescue teams had not recovered the pilot of the plane, though articles of clothing had been found, Riggins said.

Mullin, who had been living at the Rogue Valley Manor with his wife Eva, is a veteran of World War II and was a scout during the German retreat in Europe.

According the Jet Center Medford website, which featured an article on Mullin, he grew up near Yreka and rode a Honda Goldwing to the airport. He often flew to Palm Springs to see his daughter, according to the article.

Flight records for the plane obtained from, show it took off from Palm Springs at 8:30 a.m. Saturday morning, then the last entry was just after 2 p.m. at about 40 miles west of Mt. Shasta. The plane was heading north at an altitude of 14,400 feet on the last entry, updated every minute of the flight.

Mullin's plane was last scanned by radar at latitude 41.21 and longitude -123.05.

When the plane was near Redding, it began ascending from about 14,000 feet at 1:30 p.m. to more than 17,700 feet about five minutes before the last scan. The plane descended about 3,300 feet within five minutes before the last entry.

Searchers found the tops trees had been broken off and a large debris field headed in a westerly direction down a steep ridge in an area south of Happy Camp on Saturday.

At 1:30 p.m., the pilot said he was having trouble descending through the clouds, according to the Sheriff's department.

The Sheriff received calls from residents in the Happy Camp area reporting a possible crash in the area.

Search crews have found a door from the aircraft and are still searching for more wreckage.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters said his deputies assisted in the search, sending down a helicopter Saturday.

"We sent Alert 1 (the helicopter) down and found the debris field," he said.

The search operations were called off because of stormy weather and darkness.

Winters said a California Highway Patrol helicopter searched the terrain until about 1:30, then Jackson County's helicopter took over.

He said debris from the plane appears to spread over a wide area.

Mullin obtained his pilot's license after his retirement 20 years ago and after taking four-months of lessons, according to the Jet Center article. He's had four different airplanes since then according to the article.

According to records records, Mullin purchased the plane in 2004.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476, or e-mail

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