Written by Glenn Henderson
On Tuesday, February 5 we received a call from call captain Gwenda Yates of a plane crash in the mountains west of highway 62 on the way to Morongo Valley. The plane had left the Los Angeles area bound for Las Vegas. The plane had disappeared off Palm Springs radar and no ELT (electronic locator transmitter) signal had gone off. Sheriff’s helicopter Star 9 had located the wreckage and reported that it was snowing with high winds.
We responded to Hwy 62 and sent a hasty team to climb a steep and crumbly canyon to the site. It was determined that there were no survivors. All teams were recalled to the trucks where it was decided to return the next morning.
Plane Looking back at Highway 62
Eric with Pack and Wreck
Eric, Vinay, and I returned Wednesday morning along with Sharon and Mike from DSSAR (Desert Sheriff’s Search & Rescue).
Putting in Picket to Anchor Safety Rope
Picket with Rope Attached
Picket in Dirt as Anchor
Because of the extreme steepness and bad rock, we pounded steel pickets and fixed 400 feet of fixed rope for the FAA, NTSB and the corner to use to get up and down safely. The team would like to express our sincere condolences to the families of the two people on the plane.
RMRU Members Involved: Blake Douglas, Michael George, Glenn Henderson, Eric Holden, Kevin Kearn, Shani Pynn, and Vinay Rao.
DSAR Team Members Involved: Mike Calhoun, Rick Feliciano, Allen Langenbahn, Sharon Ollenburger, Mike Smith, and Kevin Wahlstrom.