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Wednesday, January 23 , 2019, 11:33 pm | Fair 47º


Plane, Body of Missing Solvang Pilot Found in Yosemite

Nicol Wilson disappeared in December on a flight from Santa Ynez to Mammoth Lakes

The search for a Solvang pilot and his plane missing since last December is now over, as Yosemite National Park officials announced Monday that his body and aircraft were found by hikers in the rugged high country of the park over the weekend.

Nicol Wilson, a Solvang man in his 60s, was flying from the Santa Ynez Airport to the Mammoth Lakes Airport on the east side of the Sierra Nevada when his aircraft disappeared in a winter storm on Dec. 17, 2012.

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

Yosemite Ranger Kari Cobb told Noozhawk in Dec. that over five feet of new snow had accumulated at the higher elevations of the park, including the search area, and strong winds had created extremely hazardous search conditions that would force the search to be postponed.

Over the past several months, as conditions allowed for travel through the high country, the park has been searched extensively, according to a statement from Yosemite Officials issued Monday.

On Saturday, Wilson’s largely intact place — a Mooney M20F single-engine aircraft — was spotted by a park visitor near the rugged Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, and Yosemite National Park rangers hiked to the location of the plane on Sunday. 

Wilson was found deceased at the location and his body has been positively identified, Cobb said.

Yosemite National Park Rangers will be removing the plane from the backcountry over the next several weeks, she added.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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