Clipped From Redlands Daily Facts
From Feb. 6 accident Bodies of four found in plane The bodies of four Santa Barbara-area residents were recovered yesterday from the wreckage of their single-engine airplane that crashed almost six months ago near Shields Peak in the San Gorgonio Wilderness, about 17 air miles northeast of Redlands. The four have been identified as Gregory Ramallo, 50, a Santa Barbara jeweler, who was the pilot; Richard Vargas, 44. of Summerland, a postmaster postmaster and member of the Carpenteria school board; Royce Ewing, 34, and his wife, Sally, 28, both Santa Barbara residents and real estate brokers. Twenty members of the sheriff's search and rescue team, a county deputy coroner and representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board SPOOLING AROUND—Virginia Baxter, shop manager at Leeco Manufacturing, Inc., of Calimesa, winds one-pound spools of nylon refill line for weed trimming machines like the Weedeater and the Weedwacker. (F acts photo by Kenison). were airlifted by helicopter to the crash site about 8 a.m. yesterday and completed the recovery operation about seven hours later, said a spokesman for the sheriff's department. Three of the plane's occupants occupants were found inside the aircraft and the fourth had been thrown from the wreckage, officials said. All apparently died instantly. Wreckage from the single- engine Bellanca 230 was scattered at about the 8,500-foot level in rugged terrain between Shields Peak and Mt. San Bernardino that forced searchers searchers to jump from the helicopters. helicopters. A makeshift landing pad was constructed near the wreckage. One searcher said the plane looked like small white patches on the mountainside. There are still patches of snow in the area. The aircraft disintegrated on impact when it crashed in a storm Feb. 6 en route from Santa Barbara to Mexico. It was one of six planes flying to Guaymas, Mexico, with medical supplies for people left homeless during January floods. Four planes arrived safely and the fifth turned back because of bad weather. Friends of the four had searched much of southern California since the plane disappeared, but had concentrated concentrated on San Diego County and Baja California because of the flight plan filed before the plane disappeared. The plane's emergency locater beacon apparently never began transmitting after the crash, a spokesman for the sheriff's department said yesterday. Authorities said they do not know why the plane crashed in the San Bernardino Mountains when the flight plan indicated the aircraft should have been 50 to 60 miles further south. The victims were all taken to the Emmerson-Bartlett Redlands mortuary where funeral arrangements are pending.