Coroner at site of missing plane’s wreckage |

Coroner at site of missing plane’s wreckage

Kurt Hildebrand

Investigators and a coroner are at the site of a fatal airplane crash in Mineral Valley east of Carson Valley this evening.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Spokesman Sgt. Jim Halsey confirmed the wreckage was that of a Cessna 172 that failed to return to Minden-Tahoe Airport after taking off at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

While the sheriff’s office has yet to identify the single person found dead with the wreckage, it is feared to be Minden pilot Keith Jorgenson, 46.

Jorgenson didn’t file a flight plan when he took off on Wednesday, expecting to return by nightfall. When he didn’t return, searchers began calling surrounding airports and trying to detect a signal from the plane’s emergency locator transmitter.

Washoe County’s RAVEN helicopter spotted the wreckage in the Pine Nuts southwest of Mount Como shortly after 2 p.m. Thursday.

“They found the wreckage and they don’t think it’s a survivable crash,” Airport Manager Bobbi Thompson said Thursday

“The airplane is occupied by one decedent,” Halsey said. “Identification of the decedent has not yet been made.”

The Cessna 172 is owned by Gardnerville resident James McFadden, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The tail number is N328SP.

Jorgenson and his wife purchased Flying Start Aero flight training school last year.

Jorgenson has worked as an independent security contractor in Afghanistan, and enjoyed flying both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.

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