The solo pilot of a plane that crashed into a recreation area next to Big Bear Lake was found dead Monday, four days after a small aircraft crash in the mountain resort area left three injured.
The fatal crash was reported just after 11 a.m. near the Grout Bay day-use area (map) in the community of Fawnskin, on the north side of the lake, authorities said.
The lone male occupant of the plane was pronounced dead on scene by San Bernardino County firefighters. There was no “identifying information” for the individual, a battalion chief said.
A yellow tarp was placed over the cockpit of the plane, which had crashed into a dry lake bed, video from the scene showed.
The plane crashed under unknown circumstances after departing to the west from Big Bear Airport about 10:40 a.m., according to preliminary information from the Federal Aviation Administration.
FAA records for the plane’s tail number indicated the experimental, fixed-wing, single-engine Sonnex was registered to an individual with a post office box in Humboldt County, in Northern California.
The FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were investigating.
The pilot’s identity will be released once his family has been notified, the Fire Department statement.
On Thursday afternoon, a fixed-wing, single-engine Cessna 172S owned by a Tustin-based company crashed into the forest off State Route 18 in the Arctic Circle area.
After that crash, which occurred about 5 miles southwest from the location given for Monday’s incident, one person was airlifted and two were taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
As Monday’s crash occurred, the Forest Service, Caltrans and the CHP were preparing to remove the wreckage from the earlier crash . The aircraft was set to be dismantled and then lifted in pieces via helicopter onto the highway above.