One dead in plane wreck

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WALLA WALLA -- A plane that flew out of Walla Walla Sunday was found today wrecked south of Pendleton with the pilot dead.

Search crews found the wreckage near Indian Lake, about 20 miles south of Pendleton. The identity of the pilot was being withheld pending notification of the family, said Dawn Blalack, Umatilla County Emergency Management spokeswoman.

Blalack said there were no passengers on the plane.

Two aircraft with the Civil Air Patrol's Washington Wing began looking for the missing plane this morning, said Lt. Col. Don Long, CAP public information officer. The aircraft had left Walla Walla Regional Airport bound for Enterprise, Ore., at 9:30 a.m. Sunday and the search was started after after a family called authorities saying that the pilot had not arrived.

Lt. Col. Richard Shortridge was directed by the Civil Air Patrol's Washington Wing Alert Officer to open a mission base at the Twin W Squadron facility at the Walla Walla airport. The Federal Aviation Administration was able to provide Shortridge with an aircraft radar track that stopped at a point South of Pendleton, Long said.

A three-man CAP air crew from Yakima, Wash., located the wreckage, which enabled searchers with the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office to find the crash site. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Police are now in charge of recovery, Blalack said.

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