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UPDATE: Pilot killed in Tehachapi plane crash identified

At least one person was killed in a plane crash after an aircraft went down in the Tehachapi mountains, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Offices.
Small Plane Crash
Posted at 7:37 PM, Feb 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 12:15:28-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — (UPDATE Feb. 17, 9 AM): The coroner's office identified 56-year-old Todd Q Smart of Hidden Valley as the pilot killed after a plane crashed in the Tehachapi mountains Sunday.


(UPDATE Feb. 15, 10:54 AM): One person was killed in a plane crash after an aircraft went down in the Tehachapi mountains, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Offices. According to KCSO, the aircraft was located by a Search and Rescue team at around 8:40 a.m. Monday morning in the area of Tehachapi Willow Springs Road.

The plane disappeared while flying from Camarillo Airport to Mammoth Lakes on Saturday afternoon. A the time of the crash, there were high winds and low visibility in the area but it is not known if this was a factor in the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said the plane, a Piper Malibu, was found approximately eight miles from the Tehachapi Municipal Airport and that the pilot was the sole person onboard the aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate and determine the cause of the crash.


UPDATE: Crews have suspended their search due to poor weather conditions in the area, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office. The search will resume tomorrow morning.


Crews are searching for a possibly downed single-engine airplane in the Tehachapi area Sunday evening.

According to the Kern County Sheriff's Office, deputies started assisting Kern County Fire Department crews search for the six seat Piper Malibu plane at about 6 p.m.

Authorities haven't confirmed where or when the plane took off or where it was heading to. KCSO believes there is only one person on the plane.

The Fort Worth Texas Air Station told KCSO that the plane was last seen on radar in the Tehachapi area at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday, according to KCSO.

At last report, crews are searching the mountains just south of Tehachapi near Highline Road and Tehachapi Willow Springs.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates.