(20th November 2004)

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A Cesna 172 crashed on the south side of the San Emigdio Mountain just above the PMC township late on Friday afternoon 27th February, 2003, after developing engine trouble during a snow storm.

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It is a steep scramble to the crash site across unstable slopes in many places. The best approach is from above - descending from the 4WD road running along the top of San Emigdio Mountain. It is about a 15 minute scramble if you know where you are going ....... but it is easy to miss the actual crash site, which is obscured from sight until you are virtually right on top of it.

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You used to be able to see the wreckage of the aircraft shining in the morning sunlight on the side of San Emigdio Mountain from various vantage points along Woodland Drive above the Sycamore turnoff. The shiny metal used to stand out distinctly from the surrounding trees (especially in the mornings). I suspect the wreckage has slipped a little further down the hill so it no longer visible like it used to. Or maybe the trees have grown making it harder to see now. It was also very difficult to see the wreckage in the late afternoon when that area is cast in shadow.

The general location is to the left of the V-shaped indentation (or steep valley) on the side of the mountain above the transfer station and RV park. The location is about one finger width held at arms length down from the summit of the range. The wreckage is obscured by trees west of Woodland Drive, or at lower elevations (lower than Sycamore).

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The plane burst into flames upon impact. I suspect the pilot might have survived the crash if it was not for the resulting fire.

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The people in the Mad Bailey's Bar saw the crash happen .... or rather the fire ball aftermath.

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Our guide to the crash site. We'd be lucky to find it without his help.

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Second visit to the crash site with my brother and his family on June 15th, 2005. You can see how steep this slope really is ....... my niece is standing upright trying to maintain her balance, but the camera's frame is titled to make the ground appear flat (a little camera trickery).

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Because of the difficult access to this area, the wreckage will probably not be removed (or not officially, at least).

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Peter Gray
telephone: +1 (661) 242-1234

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