Wreckage of plane found in Pine Nuts; pilot feared dead

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The pilot of a missing aircraft is feared dead after searchers discovered wreckage in the Pine Nut Mountains on Thursday afternoon.The red and white Cessna 172 piloted by Minden resident Keith Jorgenson, 46, took off from Minden-Tahoe Airport for a local flight 5 p.m. Wednesday. No flight plan was filed.“They found the wreckage and they don’t think it’s a survivable crash,” Airport Manager Bobbi Thompson said Thursday. Washoe County’s RAVEN helicopter spotted the wreckage in the Pine Nuts southwest of Mount Como.Douglas County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue members, along with sheriff’s investigators and a coroner, were at the site by late Thursday afternoon, according to spokesman Sgt. Jim Halsey.“The airplane is occupied by one decedent,” he said. “Identification of the decedent has not yet been made.”Search and rescue members spent Thursday calling surrounding airports and checking for emergency locator transmitter signals after Jorgenson was reported overdue from Minden-Tahoe Airport.“It is reported that Jorgenson had planned to return to the airport by dark, however he never returned,” Halsey said. “A check of surrounding airports in Carson City and Mono County revealed that Jorgenson did not land there either.”The Cessna 172 is owned by Gardnerville resident James McFadden, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The tail number is N328SP.Jorgenson and his wife purchased Flying Start Aero flight training school last year.Jorgenson has worked as an independent security contractor in Afghanistan, and enjoyed flying both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.


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