Rescue crews searching Catalina Island for a missing helicopter found a crash site on the west end of the island Tuesday and confirmed that one person, presumed to be aircraft’s pilot, had died.
The wreckage was discovered shortly before 10 a.m., Los Angeles County fire Inspector Sky Cornell said.
Crews began searching the general area about 9:20 a.m. on a report that a helicopter had gone missing “about 11 hours earlier,” Cornell said.
Allen Kenitzer of the Federal Aviation Administration said his agency received an unconfirmed report of “a missing Robinson R44 helicopter that was traveling from Torrance to Avalon.”
After a search by personnel including members of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the wreckage was discovered, along with the body of the pilot, who was the lone occupant, Cornell said.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Craig Harman of the Avalon Station said the pilot’s family had reported that the man would often fly the helicopter over the ocean from Torrance. Harman said authorities believe the man was the lone occupant of the helicopter.
The man’s name was withheld, pending notification of his relatives. The cause of the crash was under investigation.
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