Plane Crash/Body Recovery
by Glenn Henderson
On November 25, 2004, Thanksgiving Day, a Cessna 411 twin-engine plane with two aboard crashed about one mile west of Corona Municipal airport. The plane crashed at 1430, exploding on impact, killing both occupants. Deputy Coroner Rick Gomes tried to get to the site but the area is in the Prado Dam area, which is extremely marshy and heavily wooded. At 1300 on Friday, I was called by the Sheriff's aviation unit to assist the coroner in retrieving the bodies. I met the crew of Star 92 at Hemet Ryan air base in about 25 minutes. We flew to Corona Municipal Airport to pick up Deputy Coroner Rick Gomes. When we arrived at Corona, we gave Rick a quick ground lesson on what to do when being lowered out of Star 92 on a cable winch. It would be a 70 to 80 foot lower to get in past the trees. While this was going on, I contacted team member, Dana Potts, to drive to the airport and stand by. Dana lives 5 minutes away.
We flew to the crash site and I was lowered, unhooked, and then assisted Rick when he was lowered to me. After Rick took care of the necessary documentation, we loaded both people into a cargo net that Star 92 flew to Corona. Dana assisted in unhooking the net and Star 92 then flew back to retrieve Rick and myself. I hooked Rick to the cable and watched as he was raised into Star 92. I then followed Rick up, flew back to Corona, landed, deposited Rick, and flew back to Hemet Ryan Air base in Hemet.
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