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Two Survive Small Plane Crash

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January 20, 2010 01:13PM
Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
Two Survive Small Plane Crash In Park

Two men survived the crash of their small aircraft in a remote area of the park on Monday. Rocky Harvey of Joshua Tree, California, and flight instructor Warner Henry were airlifted by helicopter to Desert Regional Hospital at approximately 2:30 a.m. yesterday morning. The two men had a variety of injuries and were experiencing hypothermia but were expected to survive. Harvey and Henry took off from Joshua Tree on Monday morning with a plan to fly to Palm Springs. When their Cessna 172 failed to arrive at its destination, the Civil Air Patrol notified rangers, who sent a small team into the field around 3:30 p.m. to begin their search in the area of Quail Mountain, the park’s highest peak. Civil Air Patrol had tracked the plane to this general area before it lost contact. Weather in the area at the time included blowing rain, hail, and snow, with sub-freezing temperatures occurring during the following night. Incident commander Dan Messaros called out the Joshua Tree Search & Rescue team (JOSAR) to support the search effort. A JOSAR team was put into the field at about 8 p.m. on Monday night. At about 10:15 p.m., the aircraft was located near the summit of 5,814-foot Quail Mountain, and initial first aid was rendered to the crash victims. Both men were trapped in the wreckage, requiring the use of battery-powered saws to remove them from the downed aircraft. They were flown from the site by a Riverside County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, then airlifted to Palm Springs by Mercy Air. The crash is presently under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. At the time of the crash, 8:45 a.m. on Monday morning, weather in the area was poor with a low cloud ceiling and reduced visibility.
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Two Survive Small Plane Crash

Rick1086January 20, 2010 01:13PM



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