The pilot of the ancient single-engine Cessna that crashed in the Piñon Hills area east of Carson City has been identified at Joseph James Miceli, 59, of Wellington.
The nose of the plane was crushed and its engine pushed back into the cockpit area by the impact.
Sheriff Ken Furlong said Miceli’s next of kin has been notified of the accident and National Transportation Safety Board investigators are on scene to try figure out what cause the crash.
“It’s going to take some time to sort this out,” Furlong said. “We have no cause until NTSB finishes examining the aircraft to find out why it crashed.”
The Federal Aviation Administration website lists the craft as a 1946 Cessna 120. It was one of several craft owned by Miceli.
He reportedly left Wellington Saturday afternoon. He was reported missing to Lyon County officials on Sunday afternoon, about the same time a member of the Carson Sheriff’s Aero Squadron reported sighting the wreckage a few miles east of the capital. It was uncertain whether the aircraft ever reached Carson City or had taken off from there and was headed back to Wellington.
Miceli’s body has been sent to the Washoe County Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy. He said it could take up to six weeks for the toxicology report to determine if there was something medically wrong with Miceli or there was some other issue involved.