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California Briefing / Corona

2 bodies in plane crash recovered

March 22, 2009|Cara Mia DiMassa

The bodies of a man and a woman were recovered Saturday afternoon from the site where a single-engine Piper Cherokee plane they were in crashed Friday.

Corona Fire Department Lt. Jerry Rodriguez said that a helicopter had also removed most of the plane from the crash site, but that the engine was buried in mud and was still being recovered.

The two passengers were confirmed dead after searchers in a police helicopter found the crash site Friday night, according to Corona police. The wreckage was extremely difficult to spot from the air, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

He said the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were investigating.

The plane was reported missing after takeoff Friday morning from Corona Municipal Airport. The aircraft had taken off in heavy fog, and the two people on board were headed for Lake Havasu, Ariz.

Witnesses said they heard an airplane engine overhead suddenly cut out.

Also, the pilot was planning to speak with air traffic controllers during the flight but never contacted them, FAA officials said.

-- Cara Mia DiMassa

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