Possible plane crash

May 31, 1983

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By Bruce Gahagan

The call came late in the afternoon. The initial report was that there was a downed aircraft in the Sage area south of Hemet.

Upon arrival on the scene by RMRU member Walt Walker it was learned from the reporting sources that a local had seen a small aircraft at low altitude with possible engine trouble, fly over and disappear from sight on a south easterly course from Sage. After reviewing maps of the local area, teams were sent out in four wheeled vehicles to get a fix on the planes emergency locator beacon (ELT). Earlier in the day the Riverside County Sheriffs Department aircraft was unable to make a thorough search of the area because of decreasing ceiling height.

After several hours of trying to get a triangulation on the radio by the teams in the field, the search was called off in hopes that the morning would bring clear flying weather for the sheriff department.

It has since been determined that there was no downed aircraft; but speculations were made that the informant just observed a low flying plane or one that may have been landing on one of the many privately owned strips in the area.