Plane Crash Found Near Huntington Lake


Valley pilot, Arnie Peterson is lucky to be alive, after his plane goes down in northeastern Fresno County.

Deputies say around 10 o'clock Thursday morning, Peterson radioed in that his Piper PA28 had an oil pressure problem and was going down.

In an incredible coincidence, Colonel John York and his crew with the 144th Fighter Wing of the California Air National Guard were just taking off on a routine training mission in a state of the art, technically advanced plane.

Fresno's air tower asked the crew if they could help in the search for the downed plane some 40 miles away and they found it.

Col. John York says, "It was very steep terrain, a lot of trees, mountainous. The aircraft had a beacon on it. They were able to listen on the radio to that beacon. They were the first to the crash scene, and very quickly after that, California Highway Patrol and the Fresno County Sheriff's Department were on the scene. They all worked together as an inter-agency operation to find the pilot."

Not an easy task around Red Mountain, it has an elevation of 9,000 feet.

However, with the help of state and local law enforcement helicopters Peterson was air lifted off the mountain.

Col. York says, "He had suffered some injuries, and it was just really important to get there quickly. We are very lucky."

A life flight helicopter carried the downed pilot to the hospital.

Friends say he will make a full recovery.