A 68-year-old Solvang man was killed in a plane crash near Figueroa Mountain on Wednesday night, according to a news release from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office was told of an overdue aircraft at about 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to the release. The pilot had left from the Santa Ynez Airport earlier that afternoon “for a solo, short flight around the area,” the Sheriff’s Office said.
A tracking system showed that the plane was in the Figueroa Mountain Road area, about two miles south of Ranger Peak, the news release said. A sheriff and fire air support unit began flying in the area, searching for the plane, but had to suspend the search due to dark and foggy conditions.
The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team resumed the search at about 3 a.m. Thursday, according to the release. At about 7:30 a.m., the team found aircraft wreckage on the side of a steep hill known as Goat Rock.
The air support unit flew over the area and confirmed that there was a wrecked plane in the area, as well as a deceased person about 100 feet below on the ridge, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The dead man has been identified as Pierre Josefsohn, 68, of Solvang, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Josefsohn was an experienced pilot, and the circumstances of the crash are unknown, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation, and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.