One person was confirmed dead after the wreckage of a missing small plane was located Sunday along the side of Brown Mountain in an area above Altadena, hours after the aircraft disappeared, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
No other individuals were found at the crash site, according to the agency.
The discovery of the downed aircraft was announced by authorities shortly before 4:30 p.m., as sheriff's search and rescue teams and an air unit responded to the scene.
A Cessna 182, N133BW, had been reported missing, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said in an email Sunday morning.
The plane was traveling from Montgomery Field in San Diego to Santa Monica Municipal Airport when it lost contact about 17 miles east of Van Nuys, according to Kenitzer.
About 9 a.m., the sheriff's Special Enforcement Bureau received a report of a possible downed aircraft near Mount Wilson, in the Angeles National Forest, authorities said in a statement. Almost 30 minutes later, the Altadena and Montrose search and rescue teams were activated, and they responded along with the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
Three hours into the operation, hampered by steep terrain and low visibility due to fog, officials were unable to confirm whether the aircraft had gone down.
“We just know the last place it pinged,” Fire Department Supervisor Bernard Peters told the Los Angeles Times.
Four additional search and rescue teams -- from the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita, Sierra Madre and San Dimas -- were summoned to join the ground search.
"Heavy brush continuously reigned against the visibility of the (approximately) 50 volunteers and reserve deputies hiking through the treacherous terrain," the Sheriff's Department's news release stated.
The wrecked plane was ultimately found on the rugged side of a cliff, about four miles north of Altadena.
Two paramedics descended from a sheriff's helicopter and used rope systems to secure themselves to the side of the mountain before searching the area, officials said. They then determined that the aircraft's sole occupant was dead.
The man's name was not immediately released, pending identification by coroner's officials and notification of family.
The incident was being jointly investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, FAA and sheriff's Aero Bureau.
KTLA's Meghan McMonigle contributed to this report.