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July 8, 2013

Missing plane, pilot found in Yosemite National Park

A plane reported missing since last December was found in Yosemite National Park over the weekend, authorities said. Its pilot was found dead near the location.

A plane reported missing since December was found in the park over the weekend, authorities said.

Its pilot was found dead near the location, according to Yosemite National Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb.

Nicol Wilson was flying from the Santa Barbara area to Mammoth Lakes Airport on Dec. 17, when the plane disappeared in a storm.

After extensive searching of the Yosemite high country, the search was suspended for the winter season, Cobb said.

However, it resumed once conditions allowed for travel in the area.

On Saturday, a park visitor near Vogelsang High Sierra Camp discovered the plane above the timber line at 11,000 to 12,000 feet.

On Sunday, Cobb said park rangers hiked to the area, where they found the plane and Wilson's body.

The Yosemite National Park Helitak crew got help from the California Highway Patrol, Civil Air Patrol, California Emergency Services, and the YoDogs, a canine search and rescue assistance, during the extensive search operation.

Park rangers will be removing the plane from the back country over the next several weeks.

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