Searchers locate remains of pilot

Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office search-and-rescue volunteers found the remains of a pilot, believed to be 84-year-old Alonzo "Lonie" Edward Mullin of Medford, who crashed his Socata plane Saturday afternoon while descending through heavy clouds near Happy Camp, Calif.

The remains were located Tuesday in an area near where the aircraft engine was found on Sunday, sheriff's spokeswoman Susan Gravenkamp said in a news release.

Mullin had taken off alone from Palm Springs, Calif., at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, according to Federal Aviation Administration information released by the sheriff's office. He reported having trouble descending through the clouds in Northern California at about 1:30 p.m. The aircraft then dropped off radar and lost radio contact over Happy Camp. The Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office also received several calls at about that time from Happy Camp residents reporting a possible plane crash south of town.

A helicopter search spotted wreckage Saturday evening. On Sunday search teams found both wings with the landing wheels in a locked-down position, the engine, the fuselage, parts of the control panel and other smaller pieces of the airplane, articles of clothing, the pilot's cell phone, wallet and other personal items in a large debris field that stretched for well over a mile.

Because of the high-velocity impact, DNA testing will be required to confirm the pilot's identity, authorities said.

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